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ASTRAGAL

Michael and Patty Hopkins chose an auspicious date for the launch of volume two of their oeuvre complete: election eve.

Portcullis House is, of course, one of the featured projects, but it was being used that evening. So a glamorous list of guests, including Barbican supremo John Tusa (who swapped stories about concert halls with acoustician extraordinaire Derek Sugden), and a white-suited Simon Jenkins crowded into the Patera sheds of the Hopkins office in Marylebone. Sir Claus Moser - if Astragal's identification was correct - would have felt at home:

as statistician to the stars he might have enjoyed calculating the size of the Wellcome Trust building on Euston Road, or the fees on. . . well, almost anything in the book. And, as former ticket tearer at the Royal Opera House, he knows what a crush is.

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