The first section of The Tide, London’s first cultural linear park running alongside the Thames on Greenwich Peninsula. Opened on July 5, 2019, the first phase of the project is 1 kilometre long, and features a linear public walkway, elevated gardens, pocket cafes, and an architectural promontory overlooking the Thames River. The Tide, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the co-designers of New York City’s High Line, in collaboration with Neiheiser Argyros, provides a new outdoor destination for London. Offering an evolving collection of free-to-view public art by emerging and world-renowned artists along a landscaped route for running, walking and meditation, The Tide is freely accessible to all.
The first 1km of the 5km long landscape features elevated walkways 9 metres high and flows through native trees and giant sculptures by Damien Hirst and Allen Jones. Sunken gardens, a 27-metre long outdoor picnic table and a unique jetty garden surrounded by the river provide respite from the city bustle. “The Tide brings to London an unrivalled outdoor experience in the city,” commented 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.”
Diller Scofidio + Renfro Partner-in-Charge, Benjamin Gilmartin noted, “Twenty-eight sculptural steel structures cluster and lean together as islands of mutual support, defining a layered landscape. At ground level, their swaying legs shape vaulted portals and cafe pavilions. Above, they create an infrastructure for quieter overlook gardens. Londoners traversing The Tide will experience a unique cross section of the Peninsula’s daily life – from the buzz of visitors by the 02 to the meditative rustle of boats and lapping waves at the riverfront.”
The Tide is London’s first elevated linear park. Bridges between elevated timber decked ‘stepping stones’ planted with native trees and natural vegetation provide visitors with platforms to pause, reflect and enjoy the surrounding views of the River Thames. Evolving over the years, the finished 5km route will adapt to each new Peninsula neighbourhood as they are built, weaving amongst the buildings. Its distinctive black and white stripe pattern creates a bold visual experience and sense of pace, the ‘ebb and flow’ of space between the social and cultural ‘islands’ encountered along The Tide reflecting the movement of the neighbouring river.
Championing Arts & Culture
Joining the existing sculptures by Antony Gormley and Gary Hume on the Peninsula, The Tide features monumental artworks and design curiosities to explore along the route. Referencing the surrounding water, former resident of Greenwich Peninsula and iconic British artist Damien Hirst’s two sculptures Hydra & Kali and Mermaid from Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable are the first arrivals, with more of his work to follow. One of Britain’s most distinguished Pop artists, Allen Jones, was commissioned to create a site-specific piece of artwork inspired by the context of The Tide.
Unlike most public sculptures, which are designed to be viewed from the ground, Jones’ striking red 8-metre high sculpture Head in Wind is also designed to be seen from above, inviting viewers to interact with the sculpture from a whole new perspective. Under the elevated walkway of The Tide is a boldly coloured installation by Morag Myerscough – Siblings – that illuminates The Tide’s arches with her signature super-graphics, whilst architectural duo Heather Peak and Ivan Morison of Studio Morison have sited their outdoor dining table, London’s longest at 27 metres, directly on the riverfront.
Wellbeing by The River
The Tide is designed for Londoners short on space and craving peace of mind. The Tide creates an awe-inspiring yet relaxed natural environment that encourages visitors to linger. Surrounded by natural elements including Pines, Silver Birch, rippling wild grasses and the vast River Thames, the linear park takes you from open waterfront terraces to intimate pocket gardens to The Jetty – the Peninsula’s community learning garden “floating” on the river – where you can get involved and get green fingered.
The Tide Clubhouse provides an exercise studio, juice bar, and showers and towels for runners whilst audio meditation points by BeBox along the route offering guided meditations that respond to the immediate natural surroundings, allowing visitors to tap in and tailor the use of The Tide for their own personal mental wellbeing. For those wishing to extend their journey past the initial 1km of The Tide, they can continue along the temporary 3km waymarked route, which takes them around the Peninsula, and maps the future phases of the linear park.
Offering a new destination for riverside dining, The Tide is surrounded by informal dining options. From the family run Mama Fuego, providing quality organic produce, in-house bakery, distillery and ‘gastro-pub’ and all-day brunch menu in a sunken lounge around a cosy fire pit, to Ardoa, the latest concept from the Vinothec Compass team, offering high end cuisine with small plates from the Basque region.
Turning Tides Festival
To celebrate the opening The Tide, Greenwich Peninsula hosted the Turning Tides Festivaltaking place over 5th-7thand 12th-14thJuly. The free to attend riverfront festival saw an eclectic programme of live music, art, film, wellness and shoreline feasts, with a cast of acclaimed artists and musicians. Headliners included Gaz Coombes, Village Undergroundas curators of the musical programming, Sink The Pink, with their iconic drag show performance and Yoko Ono‘s Wishing Treeart installation for Peace Project. LA-based conceptual artist, GERONIMO, also created a large-scale installation of 25 water droplets for the duration of the festival only . Source and photos Courtesy of Diller Scofidio + Renfro.