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Naval glazing Rick Mather and bdp have produced a design of structural bravado in Greenwich By Keith Brownlie. Photographs by James Morris

In simpler times, a visit to the Royal Observatory at Greenwich involved the prospect of London viewed axially through Inigo Jones' Queen's House and the Royal Naval Hospital to Father Thames beyond. These days there is much to divert the eye from the straight and narrow, with structures labelled xxl appearing across the eastern horizon from the peninsula to the wharf. Back on axis, however, another new outsize construction looms large, rising from within the extant fabric of the National ...

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