Greenwich Peninsula, London
Located in the vibrant district of Greenwich Peninsula, this collaborative endeavour between renowned British designer Tom Dixon, horticulturist Alys Fowler, and landscape architect Tom Hoblyn has given birth to an extraordinary public space. Their mission: to create a landscape that not only that pays homage to the iconic Marks Barfield buildings’ design, resembling two pebbles with water flowing between them (symbolised by the O2 pedestrians), but also honours the layers of history embedded in this rich area. Greenwich Peninsula, once a thriving market garden that supplied London, and later an industrial gasworks site, boasts a history as diverse as the communities that have called it home.
The creative solution conceived by this talented team was nothing short of exceptional—a landform that artfully mimics the Thames mudflats, as if shaped by the gentle caress of flowing water. The design seamlessly merges aesthetics and functionality, reflecting the area’s history and inviting the community to engage with the space in a myriad of ways.
The Design Team
Alys Fowler, with her deep appreciation for nature and its untamed beauty, played a pivotal role in shaping the vision for this space. Her desire was for people to feel a sense of freedom within the landscape, to explore and interact as they pleased, to create hidden nooks and dens, and even forage for the bounty of berries that nature graciously provides. It is a testament to her commitment to preserving the authenticity of the natural world within the urban fabric of Greenwich Peninsula.
Tom Dixon, celebrated for his innovative designs inspired by industrial aesthetics, brought his unique touch to the project. His creations, such as a smokery and an amphitheatre, blend seamlessly with the landscape, imbuing it with an industrial edge that harmonises with the history of the Greenwich Peninsula site. These structures, both functional and visually striking, serve as focal points within the landscape, drawing visitors in and providing spaces for gatherings, performances, and community engagement.
Tom Hoblyn, the landscape architect entrusted with the task of bringing this vision to life, collaborated with a team of experts, including Charlotte Harris and Tim O’Hare. Together, they meticulously designed both the hard and soft landscaping elements, ensuring that every detail contributed to the overarching vision. The result is a landscape that captivates the senses, with carefully curated plantings, pathways, and gathering spaces that invite exploration and discovery.
Reflecting on the project, Tom Hoblyn shares, “It was one of the most stressful but rewarding projects I have ever been involved with. Seeing the thousands of people spill out from the O2 after a concert and filter their way through the landscape was quite remarkable.” The landscape has indeed become a vibrant backdrop for countless memories, a place where the community gathers to connect, celebrate, and revel in the beauty of
nature and design.
In the heart of Greenwich, this public space of Greenwich Peninsula stands as a testament to the power of collaboration and creative vision. It pays homage to the area’s rich history while embracing the future, providing a dynamic and engaging landscape for residents and visitors alike. As people spill out from the iconic O2 Arena after concerts and events, they are greeted by a landscape that tells a story – a story of design, nature and the enduring spirit of Greenwich, London.