Changing faces: architectural façades collection

Clever devices for comparing designs

Inspired by the We Live in the Office exhibition which takes us on an architectural journey as told through the history of the façade we thought it would be fun to put together a gallery of architectural drawings all of which feature moveable flaps, an ingenious graphic device by which the reader can view alternative designs on one sheet.

One of the major proponents of this device was the landscape architect Humphry Repton. Repton would produce a Red Book, so called because of their red Morocco leather bindings, for the client of each of his proposed landscape schemes. These bound volumes of essays and watercolours served as persuasive marketing tools for his work and included both 'before' and 'after' views of the development sites utilising overlaid paper flaps to indicate Repton's suggested improvements. One such example held by the RIBA is the Langley Park Red Book for Sir Peter Burrell in 1790 for his Beckenham seat.

One of Repton’s sons, the architect George Stanley Repton, also employed this device to good effect for example at Kitley House showing 'before' and 'after' views from all four points of the compass for the MP for Devonshire, Edmund Pollexfen Bastard.

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105767 items
RIBA125925Design for the new entrance to the Fine Arts Society, 148 New Bond Street, London: part-plans of ground and first floors and elevation

 
RIBA125926Competition designs for the Assize Courts, Bristol (design A): front elevation after a competition drawing of 1866

 
RIBA125927Competition designs for the Assize Courts, Bristol (design B): front elevation to Small Steet


RIBA125928Competition designs for the Assize Courts, Bristol (design C): front elevation to Small Street

 
RIBA125929Competition designs for the Assize Courts, Bristol (design C): section

 
RIBA125930Competition designs for the Assize Courts, Bristol (design C): front elevation


RIBA125931Competition designs for the Assize Courts, Bristol (design C): sketch elevation

 
RIBA125932Competition design for the Royal Institute of British Architects, 66 Portland Place, London: plans, elevation and section

 
RIBA125933Design for housing estate of tower blocks: perspective


RIBA125934Preliminary designs for the School of Education (il Magistero), University of Urbino, Urbino: plan of the lecture theatre, studies of the terraces, a circular temple-like structure, a wall with towers and figure studies

 
RIBA125935View showing house, conservatory and new wing with observatory in parkland setting, Orwell Park, Nacton, near Ipswich, for George Tomline: perspective

 
RIBA125936Competition design for new police headquarters, Marylebone Road, London, for New Scotland Yard: elevation


RIBA125937Presentation drawing for Westville Road Primary School, Hammersmith, London: perspective

 
RIBA125938Competition design for the Queen Victoria Memorial, The Mall, Westminster, London: bird's-eye perspective looking from Buckingham Palace down The Mall

 
RIBA125939Design for 54 & 55 Piccadilly, Westminster, London: perspective


RIBA125940Design for Cranbourne House, Westminster, London: perspective

 
RIBA125941Three half-elevations of fireplaces (above); elevation of a fireplace with detail of moulding and to the left of it a profile view with a steep chimney cowl

 
RIBA125942Two half-elevations of fireplaces


RIBA125943Two half-elevations of fireplaces of elaborate design

 
RIBA125944Two half-elevations of fireplaces

 
RIBA125945Elevation of an elaborate fireplace with the chimneypiece flanked by standing figures of Justice and Fortitude


RIBA125946An elaborate engraved cartouche, being the engraved title page of a book of cartouches

 
RIBA125947Plan, possbly for an altar

 
RIBA125948Landscape scene within a cartouche with shell and fish head