Diller Scofidio + Renfro creating new five-kilometre-long park in London's Greenwich


The first section of a five-kilometre-long, looping park is set to open in London’s Greenwich this summer, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the architecture studio behind the High Line.

Billed as a linear park, The Tide will create a loop of landscape that links all seven neighbourhoods that make up the Greenwich Peninsula.

Diller Scofidio + Renfro is working on the project with in collaboration with local architecture studio Neiheiser Argyros and landscape architecture firm Gross Max.

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.

The Tide by Diller Scofidio + Renfro
The Tide will create a loop through seven neighbourhoods on Greenwich Peninsula

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.”

The Tide by Diller Scofidio + Renfro
It features platforms raised off the ground by up to nine metres

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.”

The Tide by Diller Scofidio + Renfro
The first kilometre stretch runs from North Greenwich tube station to The Jetty

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.

The Tide by Diller Scofidio + Renfro
A black and white striped motif will feature on paving

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.

Since then other projects have sprung up all over the world taking inspiration, from MVRDV’s “plant village” in Seoul to the Atlanta BeltLine.

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.



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