This SuDS Park on Australia Rd in White City, London, manages rainwater to protect the combined sewer but just as importantly creates a high quality social and event space for the local community between a school and two playgrounds. Rainsculptures, raingardens and ‘wiggly wall’ through ornamental grassed basins all celebrate rainfall.
This formal landscape, at the heart of the new Bromsgrove civic, centre stores and infiltrates rainwater over the whole landscape. Some rainwater is harvested and recycled by a solar-powered pump to create a cascade water feature on sunny days.
Landscapes Creative that come alive Design of when it rains SuDS Most peope in urban design, development, drainage and planning will have heard of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) by now. But most will be mainly aware of schemes employing large unsympathetic and sometimes dangerous storage basins or invisible, underground attenuation such as crates and tanks. This doesn’t have to be the case and for over twenty years, Robert Bray Associates have pioneered a different approach in the UK that treats rainwater as an opportunity to enhance the landscape for people and wildlife rather than as a problem to be ‘dealt with’. Cleaning and storage of certain volumes of water when it rains is only a small part of a Sustainable Drainage System’s life. Most of the time SuDS features are empty and quite
Employing SuDS at the new Bewdley School Science Block was an opportunity to create a science garden where pupils can observe and measure the forces of water in action with rainwater directed to a waterwheel, a tipping bucket and a Torricelli tube as well as a wildlife pond and raingarden.
often dry. To have areas of land set aside for this purpose only is wasteful and can be expensive. By taking a different approach to modelling and managing rainfall, the design team at Robert Bray Associates are able to exploit opportunities for storage or infiltration throughout the whole development. By using pockets of greenspace, public open spaces and selective use of permeable paving from the top of the site to the bottom, less space is required at the bottom of the site for final storage basins. Spreading SuDS throughout the landscape and regarding rainwater as an opportunity allows the SuDS to contribute to more dynamic, biodiverse and attractive developments. At Robert Bray Associates their aim is to “create landscapes that come alive when it rains and make people want to go outside when it rains”.
Features that manage rainwater are placed throughout this innovative housing development in Stroud. A raised pool, rills in front of properties, a dramatic cascade, a lush garden rill and a play basin generate a uniquely beautiful sense of place and a well-used communal landscape.