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
RIBA125850Studies for allegorical ceiling paintings: representations of four continents in trope l'oeil niches, Europe, Asia, Africa, America

 
RIBA125851Studies for allegorical ceiling paintings: representations of four continents in trope l'oeil niches, Europe, Asia, Africa, America

 
RIBA125852Three elevations and two half-elevations of dormer windows and (lower left-hand) a half-elevation of a dormer window at the Chateau de Cormatin


RIBA125853Five half-elevations of dormer windows

 
RIBA125854Three half-elevations of windows, the two to the left possibly alternative designs

 
RIBA125855Three half-elevations of windows and (lower left) whole elevation of upper part of a window or other opening, with (lower right) detail of the console


RIBA125856(Left-hand side and top centre) Half-elevation of a two-storey facade and dormer from the attic storey of this facade, both inscribed Sedan; (lower centre) half-elevation of a rusticated window; (right top) three-quarter elevation of a heavily rusticated window, inscribed Geneve; (right bottom) half-elevation of a rusticated window and part of the opening above it

 
RIBA125857Two half-elevations of rusticated windows

 
RIBA125858Two half-elevations of windows


RIBA125859One whole and three half-elevations of dormers

 
RIBA125860(Left) Half-elevation of a dormer on a base with console, semi-circular pediment shown in full elevation with an elaborate cartouche surmounted by a knight's helmet and plumes; (right) half-elevation of the upper part of a dormer with broken pediment with a cartouche surmounted itself with a broken pediment with foliage motif

 
RIBA125861Designs for the British Embassy, Washington, D.C.: layout of house and garden with levels


RIBA125862Design for a wallpaper entitled 'Angelic Forest'

 
RIBA125863Designs for Methodist Central Hall, Storey's Gate, Westminster, London: detail section at CC, looking east, showing side galleries to large hall and corbels at angles

 
RIBA125864Designs for Methodist Central Hall, Storey's Gate, Westminster, London: designs for completion of east front


RIBA125865Designs for Methodist Central Hall, Storey's Gate, Westminster, London: plan at level A

 
RIBA125866Designs for Methodist Central Hall, Storey's Gate, Westminster, London: plan at level B

 
RIBA125867Designs for Methodist Central Hall, Storey's Gate, Westminster, London: plan at level C


RIBA125868Designs for Methodist Central Hall, Storey's Gate, Westminster, London: plan at level D

 
RIBA125869Designs for Methodist Central Hall, Storey's Gate, Westminster, London: plan at level E

 
RIBA125870Designs for Methodist Central Hall, Storey's Gate, Westminster, London: plan at level F


RIBA125871Designs for Methodist Central Hall, Storey's Gate, Westminster, London: plan at level G

 
RIBA125872Designs for Methodist Central Hall, Storey's Gate, Westminster, London: plan at level H

 
RIBA125873Brill's Baths, East Street and Pool Valley, Brighton: perspective from the street