Rotterdam’s New Rain(a)way Garden Design

Currently under construction in Rotterdam, the Katshoek Rain(a)way Garden features the like-named Rain(a)way tile in an urban garden design intervention that will help to contain stormwater runoff in extreme rainfall events. The garden was designed by De Urbanisten in collaboration with Rain(a)way tile inventor Fien Dekker.

Negative consequences related to climate change range from extreme droughts to extreme rainfall events. The two Rotterdam neighbourhoods of Zomerhofkwartier and Agniesebuurt are particularly vulnerable to extreme rainfall, frequently experiencing widespread flooding in streets, backyards and cellars. Installed for the first time in Rotterdam, Rain(a)way garden tiles addresses this problem. Replacing existing hard surfaces parking spaces, the 100 meter x 4 meter Katshoek Rain(a)way Garden incorporates these innovative tiles to direct, capture and allow rainwater runoff to slowly infiltrate back into the ground. This reduces stress on the city’s street sewer system, particularly during storm events. Fien Dekker explains that the design is influenced by Japanese architecture, in particular its aesthetic and functional response to water.

Within the rain garden, 4 different Rain(a)way tile designs are used. Each of these four different tiles responds to and manages water in a different way. EBB for example is designed to direct water, much like a gutter, into gardens or flowerbeds. The Flood Open, by contrast, is intended for water filtration and storage. It should not be stepped on, but instead used in combination with stepping-stones. The Flood Open tile collects water within its curved walls, filtering the runoff back into the earth via holes along the four perimeter edges.

The other two tile designs also allow for slow filtration. The Flood ‘Doorlatend’ Tile has a semi-permeable base, allowing water to seep slowly back into the earth. Meanwhile, The Flood Closed Tile allows for slow drainage through wall joints in the tile.

The Katshoek Rain(a)way Garden is part of a broad strategy in the City of Rotterdam that involves ‘de-paving’ or removing hard surfaces and replacing them with soft, green spaces that can better manage rainwater runoff. More about the City of Rotterdam’s Climate Initiative and partners can be found here.

For the tile in our collection, click here.