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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101632 items
RIBA5728810 Downing Street, Whitehall, London

 
RIBA5803310 Edge Street, Kensington, London: sideboard cabinet

 
RIBA3425610 Exchange Square, Broadgate, City of London


RIBA3425810 Exchange Square, Broadgate, City of London, seen from Appold Street

 
RIBA3426010 Exchange Square, Broadgate, City of London, seen from Exchange Square

 
RIBA3426110 Exchange Square, Broadgate, City of London: close-up of the series of glass walls that make up the facade


RIBA3425510 Exchange Square, Broadgate, City of London: structural detail of the rear facade

 
RIBA3425710 Exchange Square, Broadgate, City of London: the foyer

 
RIBA7009510 Gresham Street, City of London, at dusk


RIBA7009610 Gresham Street, City of London, at dusk

 
RIBA7009710 Gresham Street, City of London, at dusk

 
RIBA7009410 Gresham Street, City of London, at night


RIBA4614510 Hills Place, Soho, London: close-up of a laminated glass window inserted in the facade

 
RIBA4614410 Hills Place, Soho, London: close-up of the facade

 
RIBA4663710 Palace Gate, London: the internal staircase of one of the flats between the double-height living room and the bedrooms above


RIBA4663810 Palace Gate, London: the internal staircase of one of the flats from the double-height living room to the bedrooms above

 
RIBA4663510 Palace Gate, London: the internal staircase of one of the flats from the double-height living room to the bedrooms above

 
RIBA4663610 Palace Gate, London: the internal staircase of one of the flats from the double-height living room to the bedrooms above


RIBA1425510 Seymour Place, Marylebone, London

 
RIBA1497710 St Mary's Hill, Stamford

 
RIBA643710 Upper Grosvenor Street, London


RIBA33278100 Wood Street, City of London: the main facade clad in Portland stone seen from Love Lane with a glimpse of St Alban's church tower on the right

 
RIBA8111410-11 Cathedral Close, Exeter: detail of carved head on the main doorway

 
RIBA8111310-11 Cathedral Close, Exeter: detail of wooden carving on the main doorway


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