Billed as a linear park, The Tide will create a loop of landscape that links all seven neighbourhoods that make up the Greenwich Peninsula.
The first kilometre-long stretch, opening on 5 July, will extend from North Greenwich tube station to The Jetty, a community events space on the waterfront.
It features platforms raised off the ground by up to nine metres, offering visitors a vantage point over their surroundings. These will be set among native trees, including silver birches and pines.
There will also be public art dotted all along the route, with sculptures by British artists Damien Hirst and Allen Jones among those being installed this summer, and Antony Gormley’s 1999 Quantum Cloud already in place on the water.
“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,” explained Benjamin Gilmartin, partner-in-charge for Diller Scofidio + Renfro.
“Diverse programming along the way will act as islands that welcome the surges of commuters, visitors, cyclists and runners, while also providing intimate places of pause for contemplation, conversation, and people watching.”
Gross Max’s landscape strategy puts a focus on native plants rather than exotic species. Grasses and wildflowers will play a key role.
There will also be participatory installations created as part of the first phase.
Designer Morag Myerscough will be working with the local community to create colourful site-specific graphics underneath the elevated platforms, while architects Heather Peak and Ivan Morison of Studio Morison are building “London’s longest outdoor dining table” on the riverfront.
“The Tide brings to London an unrivalled outdoor experience in the city,” said 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.”
One of the main aims of The Tide is to give people more reason to spend time on Greenwich Peninsula, where a high volume of visitors come only to visit the O2 arena. It is imagined as a destination for “running, walking and meditation”.
A black and white striped motif will feature on paving throughout the route, helping to unite the different stretches of the path.
Until all five kilometres of the park have been created, a three-kilometre way-marked route will allow visitors to explore beyond the first section of the park, to see where later areas will be constructed.
It has been 10 years since Diller Scofidio + Renfro completed the first phase of the High Line in New York, for which the firm collaborated with landscape studio James Corner Field Operations and Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf.
However this is the first park that Diller Scofidio + Renfro have also been involved in since. The New York-based studio is also working on another London project – the London Centre for Music at the Barbican.
The Tide will open as part of Turning Tides Festival, a riverfront festival taking place in Greenwich from 5 to 14 July. The event will also include an installation by American artist Geronimo, featuring water droplets.
Images are by Uniform.