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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108601 items
RIBA125778Four half-elevations of doorways

RIBA125779Two half-elevations of doorways

RIBA125780Elaborate small design for a variation on the fleur-de-lis motif

RIBA125781Two putti, winged, with bows and quivers, fighting over a palm frond

RIBA125782Three half-designs for cartouches

RIBA125783Female allegorical figure, robed, standing on a pedestal, holding in her raised left hand a wreath

RIBA125784Half the front elevation of a gateway with the side elevation at the right

RIBA125785Half the front elevation of a gateway with the side elevation at the right

RIBA125786Half-front elevation of a doorway of the Villa Sforza with its side elevation to the right

RIBA125787Top part only of a door on the Campidoglio

RIBA125788Half-elevation of a gateway in a screen

RIBA125789Two half-elevations of an entrance

RIBA125790Four designs apparently for wall panels with, at the bottom, a winged figure with a helmet at his feet

RIBA125791(Left) Half the front elevation of an arched entrance, the entablature supported by a winged herm; side elevation of the same at right; (right) design for an overmantel

RIBA125792Elevation of an entrance doorway or gateway with an entablature supported by winged herms

RIBA125793Elevation of an arched entrance with alternate designs right and left, the cypher P and reversed B in a laurel wreath over the curved pediment common to both designs; to the right, the side elevation of the entablature supported by winged figure with console base

RIBA125794Design for the Economist Building, 25 St James's Street, London: revised plans for the bank building

RIBA125795Competition design for the development of Beachlands, Hayling Island, Hampshire: aerial perspective

RIBA125796Competition designs for baths and wash-houses, New Islington, Manchester: plan and perspective

RIBA125797Competition designs for baths and wash-houses, New Islington, Manchester: ground floor plan

RIBA125798Competition designs for baths and wash-houses, New Islington, Manchester: south-west, north-east and south-east elevations

RIBA125799Competition designs for baths and wash-houses, New Islington, Manchester: sections

RIBA125800Competition design for public baths, library and fire station, Gorton Road, Reddish, Stockport: perspective from the north-west

RIBA125801Designs for Montpellier Rotunda (or Pump Room) and for alterations and additions, Montpellier Spa, Cheltenham, for Henry Thompson Esq.: unexecuted design for newly exposed side elevation to the 'New Gloucester Road' (Lansdown Place)