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)