The Tide: London’s First Linear Riverside Park Raises the Game for Public Spaces

London’s first linear park, The Tide on Greenwich Peninsula, is inspired by New York’s High Line and raises the game for the capital’s public spaces

London’s first linear riverside park, The Tide, will be the first of its kind in London. The five-kilometre cultural linear park has been designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the co-designers of New York’s High Line, a 1.45-mile-long elevated greenway on a former railroad in Manhattan.

Located on Greenwich Peninsula, London’s newest creative neighbourhood, the new riverside destination will provide a new home for art, design and wellbeing, with giant sculptures by Damien Hirst (who used to live on River Way, the tiny row of houses near The Pilot pub, when he was at Goldsmiths University), sunken gardens, a 27 metre-long outdoor picnic table and a unique jetty garden.

The first 1km of the 5km long landscape, unveiled during Turning Tides Festival in July 2019, features elevated walkways 9 metres high and flows through native trees, providing a unique landscaped route for running, walking and meditation.

‘The Tide brings to London an unrivalled outdoor experience in the city,’ says Kerri Sibson, Director of Greenwich Peninsula. ‘This bold 3D landscape opens up the river, brings people together, gives us art to absorb, nature to enjoy and space to escape. Most importantly, it’s a place for everyone.’

Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Neiheiser Argyros and landscape architects GROSS.MAX, The Tide will feature bridges between elevated timber decked ‘stepping stones’ planted with native trees and natural vegetation to provide visitors with platforms to pause, reflect and enjoy the surrounding views of the River Thames.

‘This bold 3D landscape opens up the river, brings people together, gives us art to absorb, nature to enjoy and space to escape’

Evolving over the years, the finished 5km route will be twice the length of New York’s High Line and will adapt to each new Peninsula neighbourhood as they are built, weaving among the buildings.

‘Visitors will experience the park from varying vantage points, from street level up to nine-metre high elevated paths that weave through the site to plug into the existing network of leisure, art, and social life across neighbourhoods,’ says Diller Scofidio + Renfro Partner-in-Charge, Benjamin Gilmartin.

The Tide from the east side of Peninsula Square

The Tide also boasts monumental artworks and design curiosities including two sculptures from iconic British artist Damien Hirst (Hydra and Kali, 2015, and Mermaid, 2014, from Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable) and British pop-artist Allen Jones’ 8-metre high artwork Head in the Wind, as well as Siblings by Morag Myerscough, a large-scale illusionary patterned work masking unsightly bin stores and other functional buildings with bold splashes of colour.

Plus, for moments of reflection while by the river, OPO Audio meditation points by BeBox are permanently sited along the route, allowing users to tap in and use The Tide’s views and spaces to channel a moment of calm and personal headspace.

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