Rūjiena Culture House – Dry River and Rain Gardens

Sustainable stormwater management principles have been implemented in the renovation of the Rūjiena Culture House square, including the cascade of rain gardens, landscaped canal (“the Dry River”) and bioswales into the integrated landscaping project of the town square.

Solution to which problem

The inclusion of the sustainable stormwater management features hasn’t been included in the Rūjiena Culture House square improvement project from the start. However, during the earth works it had been found out that the building’s foundation is compromised by the rainwater as the rainwater had been infiltrated near the building and the foundation hadn’t had groundwater drainage. It has been decided to include stormwater management techniques into the overall landscaping concept. 

The solution requires maintenance similar to the maintenance of regular surfaces and planted areas: plant maintenance, leaves and debris removal, cleaning and sweeping.  Maintenance costs do not exceed those of other landscaped areas.


Rūjiena Culture House square has been renovated to create an attractive, culturally meaningful and functional public space, which mimics the patterns and colours of traditional dress in its design of walking paths and greenery. The square design incorporates sustainable strategies for stormwater in the form of a landscaped canal (dry river), rain gardens and bioswales.


Multiple functions have been achieved as a result: preservation of the building’s foundation, stormwater conveyance, treatment and take up by plants, micro-climate regulation, biodiversity enhancement, pleasant public space and recreation functions.  The landscaped canal attracts children and lets them play with and discover the joy of living in water balance.

As the square is located in the floodplain of the Rūja river, sometimes (1/100 years fluvial flooding) the spring flooding reaches the square, filling the canal, and it is possible to interact also with this aspect of water.

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