Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s riverside park on London’s Greenwich Peninsula opens
As entire swathes of London are undergoing complete transformation – King’s Cross, Battersea and Nine Elms, and London City Island come to mind – developers are becoming increasingly aware of the need to address placemaking, in their effort to weave new buildings, residents and neighbourhoods into real, live hubs of activity and thriving parts of the metropolis. Greenwich Peninsula is raising the game in the field by commissioning architectural innovation leaders Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) to design a coherent public park for the area; and the result’s first phase, The Tide, is launching to the public this weekend.
Created by DS+R in collaboration with London based Neiheiser Argyros and landscape architects GROSS MAX, the project was conceived as a linear riverside park, connecting different parts of the Peninsula and helping with circulation flow, as well as providing outdoor space and greenery for users. The team behind The Tide call it a ‘cultural’ park too, which makes sense, seeing as it is awash with art pieces by an impressive array of artists, including Damien Hirst, Allen Jones, Morag Myerscough, Heather & Ivan Morison, GERONIMO and Gaz Coombes.
The free-to-view outdoor art collection will change and evolve over time – routes and artworks will be spread across the landscape of native trees and throughout the impressive elevated walkways. At nine metre high, the walkways add a powerful vertical dimension to this park.
‘The design of The Tide seeks to embed a new public realm into the daily rhythms of Greenwich Peninsula by layering together its currents of activity into a thickened landscape,’ says DS+R partner in charge of the project, Benjamin Gilmartin. ‘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. 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.’
This weekend marks the public launch of the exciting scheme’s first phase – the very first one kilometre of the park’s planned landscaped route for art, running, walking and meditation – and the future will see another four kilometre route released in due course. Meanwhile, To launch The Tide, Greenwich Peninsula is hosting the Turning Tides Festival there, taking place over from 5 – 7 and 12 – 14 July. §