London's First Elevated Park "The Tide" to Open on July 5th | Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Neiheiser Argyros

The Tide has been designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the architects behind NYC’s High Line, in collaboration with London and Athens-based Neiheiser Argyros, the architect curators of the Greek Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Biennale. 
– text and images provided by the authors
The Tide will be a 5-kilometre network of public spaces and gardens embedded into the daily rhythms of Greenwich Peninsula, adjacent to the O2 Arena in east London. Both an elevated and at-grade walkway, with programming split across both levels, The Tide activates spaces above and below to provide a layered network of recreation, culture, and wellness. The Tide will stitch together diverse ecosystems, emerging neighbourhoods, and distinct cultural institutions, connecting north to south, east to west, centre to periphery, and city to river. The Tide is both fast and slow. It is simultaneously a running track, a walking promenade, a series of quiet gardens, and a network of social and cultural hubs.  
The Tide is conceived of as a series of elevated, landscaped islands where the public is invited to slow down, linger, and overlook the life of the Peninsula. Each island is distinct, defined by unique trees and planting, and by their surrounding views and sounds. These elevated gardens are designed as clusters of structural supports that create elevated planter beds, containing soil and channelling both gravity loads and water down to the ground. The sculptural structure supporting The Tide gardens above also frames and shelters the path below, creating arched pavilions that mark thresholds and passages at the ground level public realm.  

The Tide’s material palette is comprised of a painted steel structure, glass balustrade, composite rice husk
decking, hardwood benches, bonded metal trim, exposed concrete, stone pavers, and vegetation.

Structural Supports and Bridges
The Tide’s first phase is comprised of 28 unique structural supports. They cluster together to form tripod-like
structures that support the elevated gardens and walkways above while creating canopies for shelter and
reflected illumination at the plaza level. Systems for lighting, electrical distribution, data, and landscape
(vegetation, soil, water supply and drainage) are integrated seamlessly into each structural support. The islands
are connected by prefabricated steel bridges forming a continuous 2.4m wide path with spans up to 26 meters.


Every support and bridge is composed of welded plate steel inner ribs and outer skins forming an aircraft wing-
like structure that is lightweight and minimizes impact to the London Underground station box directly below.

The custom structures were fabricated by Cimolai in Italy, shipped directly from shop to site via the Thames River,
and bolted together in days. The design of the structural elements was a special architectural and structural
collaboration with AKTII using parametric software to maximize material efficiency and minimize fabrication
complexity. The result is an integrated architectural and structural expression without superfluous cladding.

The plantings along the first phase of The Tide adapts to the landscape of the local context that it passes through.
The overall framework of tree planting has been optimized to create comfortable micro-climates that take wind
studies into account. Phase I features clustered plantings of native birch and pine at both the ground and elevated
level. Tree plantings along the waterfront consist predominantly of native waterside trees such as Alnus, Salix,
and Poplar. Sweeps of groundcover, herbaceous plants, seasonal bulbs, and ornamental grasses enhance the
Tide’s atmosphere with additional colour and texture. The grove of pines is under-planted with sweeps of tall
grasses such as Dechampisa and Molinia while the birch are under-planted with evergreen groundcover such as
Vinca minor intermixed with seasonal bulbs.

Tide Lines
A striped pattern marks the path of The Tide, emphasizing the tempo of movement between cultural and social
destinations as an orientation and wayfinding tool. The continuous pattern is rendered in a thin layer of epoxy for
elevated portions, while asphalt and granite Portuguese paving stones is used for the ground level.


Opening July 5, 2019, the first phase of the project will be 1 kilometre long, and will feature a linear public
walkway, elevated gardens, pocket cafes, and an architectural promontory overlooking the Thames River.

Facts & Credits
Project title    The Tide
Location  Greenwich Peninsula, south-east London near Canary Wharf
Owner  Knight Dragon
Renderings  Uniform Studio

Design and Construction Team
Design Team  Diller Scofidio + Renfro (Lead) in collaboration with Neiheiser Argyros
Diller Scofidio + Renfro: Ben Gilmartin, Anthony Saby, Bryce Suite, Ning Hiransaroj, Alex Knezo, John Newman,
Swarnabh Ghosh, Erioseto Hendranata
Neiheiser Argyros: Ryan Neiheiser, Xristina Argyros, Giorgio Piscitelli, Eleni Vagianou, Danae Haratsis, Nikolas
von Schwabe, Athina Zafeiropoulou, Catarina de Almeida Brito, Thalia Chrousos, Chris Yuan, Kevin Larson
Landscape Designers Gross. Max.
Structural Engineers (Elevated Portion)  AKT II
Structural Engineers (Ground Level Portion) Arup
MEP, Lighting  AECOM
Accessibility Consultant  David Bonnett Associates
Cost Consultant  Gardiner and Theobold
Planning Consultant  NLP Planners
Principal Designer for Risk, Health and Safety  Stace
Transportation and Access Consultants  WSP
Steel Fabricator Cimolai
Canopy and Seating Fabricator  Urban Street Design
Contractor (Elevated Portion)  Mace
Contractor (Ground Level Portion)  Maylim