High Tide Street by James Gardener


High Tide Street by James Gardener

University of Westminster architecture student James Gardener has designed this conceptual bridge for the River Thames, London, made from a series of floating elements that would be linked together and free to move with the tide.

High Tide Street by James Gardener

High Tide Street would connect the towns of Woolwich on the north bank and Silvertown on the south bank, and become a shared public space consisting of a concert hall, library, fish market and oyster bar.

High Tide Street by James Gardener

The islands would be connected on flexible hinges and could be reconfigured.

Here's some more from the architect:

Floating delicately between the physical and cultural boundaries of Silvertown and Woolwich, a new inhabitable bridge generates ephemeral connections and constantly shifting spatial configurations, governed by the rhythmic ebb and flow of the Thames.

High Tide Street by James Gardener

Londoners can begin to re-territorialise the once vibrant artery of the city in this vacillating new cultural hub for London.

High Tide Street by James Gardener

My project began with an intensive programme of time-lapse film studies, historical research and investigative interventions into the broken connections between both the North and South banks of the Thames at Silvertown/ Woolwich and more generally between London and the Thames. As the interventions developed, the brief set up a series of questions: how could the Thames be reoccupied and reconnected with London, using the contrapuntal dynamics of the ebb and flow of the tide as a generator for new, unusual spatial configurations and connections with London's main artery?

High Tide Street by James Gardener

The programme proposes for a new cultural 'high street' for Silvertown/ Woolwich/ London, including a Thames Oyster bar, a floating library, a concert hall and fish market, all continuously shifting with the tide. New connections are made with the river both locally and for the whole of London.

DezeenTV: High Tide Street by
James Gardener


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See also:


Pearl River Necklace
by NL Architects
Landscape Bridge
by WXY Architecture
Trestles Beach footbridge
by Dan Brill Architects

Posted on Sunday August 8th 2010 at 12:29 am by Joe Mills. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • MorningGlory

    A very creative, practical and elegant proposal. An idea that I would love to see delivered and reinterpreted for many different cities. Unfortunately, nobody outside the architecture world would take the designer seriously when he uses language like vacillating, contrapuntal dynamics or ephemeral connections.

  • Abhi

    I am seeing a lot of technical difficulties which you might face in getting this executed..May be you could have talked more about the tectonics of the project.Still, its a great concept.
    Well done !

  • edward

    What happens if a gale blows up? The illuminated barges look fantastic.

  • Nadine

    Wow! Its awesome! I love the design / concept, it looks really good!

  • sash

    really nice project – some of the best work from ds17

  • It's not, it's actually fine and improving. Also the area he's talking about is very tidal so the sea flows in and out constantly.

    Huge misconception about the thames.

  • My main puzzle with this if it's down near woolwhich is how ships are going to get past it?

    There's still a lot of shipping in the Thames especially as you head down river which all crossings need to take account of and it's not immediately clear how this project responds to that.

  • Ought to add to that though that I think it's gorgeous and would love to see it happen!

  • Felix

    A section showing the underside of those junctions would have been great, and a render of how this looks in the daytime. But nicely considered project overall.

    Does this part of the thames have boat traffic? Maybe you'd need a couple of tugs to periodically move the bridge apart for river traffic.

  • Felix

    Wait, I've just noticed that part of the reason the barges look so light is that they're not actually submerged in the water at all. The waterline is right on the bottom of the barge! So either there's a hidden portion underneath and we're seeing the tip of the iceberg, in which case it'd be forthright to show us the rest of it… or he's telling porkies.

    • Tom

      You can see the floating podiums beneath the glazed volumes… Top image is clearest.

  • There is a film to further describe the project which can be viewed here : http://www.vimeo.com/12672816

  • @Felix: the ‘pods’ are designed as lightweight spanning structures supported at each end by floating pivot nodes, keeping the elements afloat and ‘hovering’ just clear of the water line.

    • Kaptain krunch

      you what now? How does the pivot node float? sure it'd be easier to just make the barges float? having spanning structures instantly makes everything much more complex and heavy and you're going to need to over design everything for fatigue

    • Felix

      ah, i see. is it possible for us to see a section of what happens under the waterline?

      what stops the nodes floating into a straight line and then losing their stability and capsizing? if you understand what i mean. how is the thames deep enough to support floats like that?

  • Grapes

    Nice Renders tho, like the style

  • David

    Excellent concept! I hope I get to set foot on this one day in the future. A very talented young architect obviously.

  • Joe

    Nice project – but cant help but think perhaps there is an opportunity out there for all students to showcase their work via an aggregated website? Dezeen Graduate Magazine? Real vs Academe… lets get it on!

  • I just lay people who do not understand about the technique, which was in my mind is whether the likely remain at a safe position in case of a very heavy current flow ,,,,, what is not dangerous because, if it is playing with something that mengandug risk, it should not be underestimated

  • T Sparks

    Published on Dezeen!

    Good work chap ;)

  • skwig

    one major problem with the concept of it 'continuously shifting with the tide.' would come from the fact that tidal currents are really strong and change direction only every 6 hours. The pods will therefore sit in a straight line downstream from the fixed point/node. They will swing when the tide changes (in a movement that would probably take 15-20 minutes) but will then sit in a straight line downstream in the other direction…

    The only potential time that they would possibly float across the thames and delicately connect would be at slack tide and then they will be directed by wind and so the chances of them meeting would be very slim…as an example boats anchored too closely will swing at low tide or in a windshift and cause major damage, things dont float delicately when wind and tide get involved!

  • skwig

    …For these reasons the project would have to be completely mechanically driven, if looking at it technically, and thus goes against the concept of moving and changing with the tide as proposed…where the pods fixed to a point in the middle of the thames however then there would be more freedome for movement and it could work entirely on tidal flow as the pods could swing in a circular movement, and with some mechanical input could connect together, thus offerring temporary connections between each pod, whcih could work in a more random pattern, however once again with the strong tidal flow they would all float downstream again and only change for the 15-20 minutes at slack tide…

    An interesting concept non-the-less and i know as a university project conceptual thought can overide technical matters and in that sense it is quite successful, however for it to be built it would be running purely on motors!