Greenwich Peninsula will soon have its own pedways.
The area around the O2 is never the same on any two visits. Such is the pace of change. The latest spurt brings this eye-catching bit of landscaping to the south-east of the dome.
Known to developers as The Tide, and surely to everyone else as ‘the way to the river’, this new scheme is set to open in July 2019.
And would you just look at the elevations. Perhaps buoyed on by the success of the City’s new pedways (raised pedestrian walkways), the architects have built in a string of foliage-laden alabaster bridges (which we’re calling pedways, even if nobody else is). The effect is a kind of cubist reshuffle of the ill-fated Garden Bridge, but without fiasco, controversy or Joanna Lumley.
In a departure from recent tradition, the landscaping will shun fancy ornamental trees in favour of native pines and silver birch. The route will also include a handful of sculptures, including a piece by Damien Hirst.
The walk offers a new route to the Thames and The Jetty cultural space, as well as a pleasant diversion from the rampant commercial centre of the O2 and the non-rampant tourist attraction of the cable car. It’s also a skateboarder’s paradise, although we suspect they’ll get short shrift from security personnel.
The scheme, by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Neiheiser Argyros, may be impressive, but it’s a mere fountainhead for what’s to come. Eventually, The Tide will hook up with other sections of linear park to form a five-kilometre loop of semi-bosky walkways around the Peninsula.
By some kind of secretive journalistic convention, articles like this must mention New York’s High Line at some point. We’ve squeezed it in at the end for the sake of industry compliance.
The Tide will launch with the free Turning Tides Festival on 5-7 and 12-14 July 2019, with a programme of music, performance art, film viewings, food and wellbeing activities.