The initial phase of London’s first linear culture park has opened to the public along the Thames. Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Neiheiser Argyros, the project is sited on the Greenwich Peninsula as a new outdoor destination for the city. Called The Tide, the park offers free-to-view public art by emerging and world-renowned artists and includes a landscaped route for running, walking and meditation that is freely accessible to all.
Designed with landscape architects GROSS.MAX, The Tide 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. The first part of the 5km long landscape features a series of elevated walkways 9 meters high that flow through native trees and giant sculptures by Damien Hirst and Allen Jones. Sunken gardens, a 27-meter long outdoor picnic table and a jetty garden surrounded by the river provide respite from the city bustle.
Diller Scofidio + Renfro Partner-in-Charge, Benjamin Gilmartin, said that, “This first phase of The Tide opens a new public realm that will over time connect Greenwich Peninsula's neighborhoods with a vibrant network of outdoor art, food and recreation spaces. Here, 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.”
As the team states, evolving over the years, the finished 5km route will adapt to each new Peninsula neighborhood as they are built. Its 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 neighboring river. “The Tide brings to London an unrivaled 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.”
The Tide features monumental artworks 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. 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. Jones’ 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 new perspective. Under the elevated walkway of The Tide is an installation by Morag Myerscough – Siblings – that illuminates The Tide’s arches with super-graphics, whilst architectural duo Heather Peak and Ivan Morison of Studio Morison have sited their outdoor dining table, London’s longest at 27 meters, directly on the riverfront.
Visitors can also continue along the temporary 3km way-marked route, which takes them around the Peninsula, and maps the future phases of the linear park.
News via Diller Scofidio + Renfro