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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98974 items
Designs for the complete interior remodelling of Garden Corner, 13 Chelsea Embankment, London, for E. J. Horniman: plans, elevation and details of a fitment for the libraryRIBA94285

Designs for the lake at Thoresby Hall, Thoresby, Nottinghamshire: plan and estimate for alterations to the lakeRIBA67842

Designs for the Royal Villa and Golf Pavilion, Le Coq-sur-Mer, Ostend: perspectives and plansRIBA70857

Designs for the Spa Green Estate, Rosebery Avenue, Finsbury, London: details of the structural systemRIBA81988

Designs for Tristford House, Harberton, Devon, for Mrs Wynne Pendarves: elevation of north frontRIBA83264

Designs for Tristford House, Harberton, Devon, for Mrs Wynne Pendarves: plan and elevation of entrance lodgeRIBA83259

Downing College, Cambridge: intended entrance to the college from Downing StreetRIBA83068

Factory and offices for Aspro-Nicholas Limited, Slough: the Bath Road frontageRIBA75791

Fen Ditton Junior School, CambridgeRIBA71715

Friars Square Shopping Centre, Aylesbury, BuckinghamshireRIBA59950

Ghyllgrove neighbourhood centre shops, Basildon, EssexRIBA61887

Glasgow School of Art, Renfrew Street, Glasgow: the entrance to the library blockRIBA74194

Grandstand, Northolt Park Racecourse, LondonRIBA93350

Harewood House, West Yorkshire: north-west elevationRIBA97095

Harringay Arena, Harringey, LondonRIBA73551

Hartington Court, Lansdowne Way, Stockwell, LondonRIBA64607

Highpoint One, North Hill, Highgate, LondonRIBA64214

Holloway Brothers Ltd, 43 South Audley Street, LondonRIBA72847

Hothampton Crescent, known as The Dome, Bognor Regis, West SussexRIBA85143

House at Medmenham, BuckinghamshireRIBA80936

Houses of Parliament, Palace of Westminster, London: longitudinal sectionRIBA68944

Housing, Bar Hill, CambridgeshireRIBA76093

Housing, Bar Hill, CambridgeshireRIBA76094

Housing, Manygate Lane, Shepperton, SurreyRIBA75321

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