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
RIBA125802Designs, as executed, for Putney Swimming Baths, Upper Richmond Road and Dryburgh Road, Wandsworth, London, for Wandsworth Borough Council: site plan

 
RIBA125803Designs, as executed, for Putney Swimming Baths, Upper Richmond Road and Dryburgh Road, Wandsworth, London, for Wandsworth Borough Council: sections

 
RIBA125804Design for a poster for the Central Liquor Control Board entitled 'The Early Bird Catches the Worm' to decorate a pub or canteen, possibly in the Carlisle area


RIBA125805Presentation drawings for the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool: cross section

 
RIBA125806Presentation drawings for the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool: ground floor plan

 
RIBA125807Designs for the Henbury Rotunda, Henbury, for Sebastian de Ferranti: preliminary axonometric cutaway


RIBA125808Designs for the Henbury Rotunda, Henbury, for Sebastian de Ferranti: decorative details

 
RIBA125809Designs for the Henbury Rotunda, Henbury, for Sebastian de Ferranti: working drawing for dome and lantern

 
RIBA125810Designs for the Henbury Rotunda, Henbury, for Sebastian de Ferranti: lantern details


RIBA125811Designs for the Henbury Rotunda, Henbury, for Sebastian de Ferranti: axonometric cutaway

 
RIBA125812Designs for the Henbury Rotunda, Henbury, for Sebastian de Ferranti: presentation drawing showing plans, elevation and sections (C)

 
RIBA125813Designs for the Henbury Rotunda, Henbury, for Sebastian de Ferranti: presentation drawing showing plans, elevation and sections (A)


RIBA125814Designs for the Henbury Rotunda, Henbury, for Sebastian de Ferranti: presentation drawing showing plans, elevation and sections (B)

 
RIBA125815Design for completing William Wilkin's facade of the National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London: plan and elevations

 
RIBA125816Designs for interior decoration of 44 Belgrave Square, Belgravia, London, for the Honourable Percy Wyndham: elevation of entrance hall wall in dark red and black with a grey frieze; (right) plan of entrance hall ceiling, in grey


RIBA125817Designs for the interior decoration of 29 Chesham Place, London, for Sir Sydney Hedley Waterlow, Bt: elevation of the drawing room wall with entrance doors to the conservatory either side of a niche

 
RIBA125818Designs for the interior decoration of 9 Chesterfield Gardens, London, for Henry, Lord Leconfield: two designs for the dining room walls

 
RIBA125819Designs for the interior decoration of the addition to Lythe Hill, Haslemere, Surrey, for James Stewart Hodgson Esq.: plan and section of the billiard room ceiling


RIBA125820Designs for the interior decoration of 52 Prince's Gate, London, for Thomas Eustace Smith, Esq.: plan of dining room ceiling

 
RIBA125821Design for the staircase, Wildernesse House, Seal, near Sevenoaks, Kent, for Lady Louisa Mills: section

 
RIBA125822Design for the interior decoration of 15 Berkeley Square, Mayfair, London, for F Lehmann, Esq: elevation of a wall of the Green Drawing Room


RIBA125823Design for the interior decoration of 15 Berkeley Square, Mayfair, London, for F Lehmann, Esq: elevation of a wall in a second floor dressing room

 
RIBA125824Design for the interior decoration of 15 Berkeley Square, Mayfair, London, for F Lehmann, Esq: plan and elevation of the ceiling in small drawing room

 
RIBA125825Designs for the drawing room & dining room, No. 22 Prince's Gate, London, for H. S. Keating: elevation of wall in the drawing room with two doorways, in blue and gold