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
RIBA125898(Top) Two whole and one half-elevation of dormers; (below) part of a three-storey pavilion with part of an adjoining wing to the left

 
RIBA125899Elaborate elevation of a pedimented double dormer window

 
RIBA125900Elevation of double dormer windows surmounted by a large, single triangular pediment with an oeil-de-boeuf in the centre


RIBA125901Elevation of one and a half bays of a gallery built over an arcade and with lucarnes and oeils-de-boeuf in the attic storey

 
RIBA125902Elevation of double dormer windows with broken triangular pediment covering both, military trophies on each side, and all surmounted by a fleur-de-lis and ducal coronet

 
RIBA125903Three half-elevations of dormer windows and (at top right-hand side) half-elevation of a two-storey rusticated facade with steps to the entrance door


RIBA125904Two elevations of oeil-de-boeuf lucarnes for an attic storey: the top one is possibly a variation on those of the garden facade of the Petite Galerie of the Louvre, the lower one is from the end facade of the Petite Galerie, facing the Seine

 
RIBA125905One whole elevation and four half-elevations of circular lucarnes with oeils-de-boeuf, as well as a decorated tablet at lower left

 
RIBA125906One half-elevation of a lucarne with an oval niche surmounted by military trophies


RIBA125907Trevi Fountain, Rome, seen from the side

 
RIBA125908Foro Romano, Temple of Vespasian, Rome

 
RIBA125909So-called Temple of Bacchus, later Church of Sant'Urbano, Rome: exterior view


RIBA125910Baths of Caracalla, Rome: interior of the central hall

 
RIBA125911Arch of Janus Quadrifrons with the Arch of the Moneychangers, Rome

 
RIBA125912St Peter's Square with St Peter's Basilica and colonnades, Rome


RIBA125913Capriccio known as The Skeletons

 
RIBA125914Capriccio known as The Triumphal Arch

 
RIBA125915Capriccio known as The Tomb of Nero


RIBA125916Capriccio known as The Monumental Tablet

 
RIBA125917Hellman cartoon in the Architects' Journal for 16 March 1983 on how the architect and his profession is viewed.

 
RIBA125918Hellman cartoon in the Architects' Journal for 5 September 1984 on how the architect and his profession is viewed.


RIBA125919St Saviour's Church, Coalpit Heath, Gloucestershire: south elevation with outline plans of details

 
RIBA125920Rapid sketches of peasants and a more detailed figure of a seated peasant with colour notes

 
RIBA125921Arch of Claudius, Rome