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.

Explore the collection & buy prints

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103151 items
RIBA1063211-27 Cowley Road, Lambeth, London

 
RIBA225101-13 St. Giles Court, St. Giles High Street, London: perspective view

 
RIBA72694117-118 Leadenhall Street, City of London: lobby with sculptural decoration


RIBA72695117-118 Leadenhall Street, City of London: lobby with sculptural decoration

 
RIBA72696117-118 Leadenhall Street, City of London: lobby with sculptural decoration

 
RIBA7774117-131 Regent Street, London


RIBA55738118 Heath Street, Hampstead, London

 
RIBA5017711a Morden Road Mews, Blackheath, London

 
RIBA9096211th Street Diner, Miami Beach, Miami


RIBA1098012 and 13 Collingham Gardens, Kensington, London

 
RIBA7931312 and 14 Cavendish Place, London

 
RIBA7255012 Chiswick Mall, London: the entrance doorway


RIBA10226412 Collingham Gardens, Kensington, London

 
RIBA10226512 Collingham Gardens, Kensington, London

 
RIBA2656812 Keats Grove, Hampstead, London


RIBA10155712 rue des Amiraux, Paris

 
RIBA10155412 rue des Amiraux, Paris

 
RIBA10155812 rue des Amiraux, Paris


RIBA10155512 rue des Amiraux, Paris

 
RIBA10155912 rue des Amiraux, Paris

 
RIBA10156012 rue des Amiraux, Paris: detail of balcony support


RIBA10155612 rue des Amiraux, Paris: the north elevation

 
RIBA10143412 rue Gaillon, Paris

 
RIBA10143212 rue Gaillon, Paris


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