The Rain Garden at the Oregon Convention Center NE Martin Luther King Boulevard • Portland, Oregon
Reduce downstream damage from runoff
Safely move, control, contain rainwater
Capture rain for reuse (of all kinds, human and natural, from irrigation and toilet flushing to groundwater recharge)
Restore or create habitat
The basic stormwater management concept of The Rain Garden at the Oregon Convention Center is capture, convey, cleanse, and either infiltrate or detain and discharge. Five scuppers each drain a different “watershed” of the 5.5 acre roof, dramatically dropping runoff into a river pebble-lined series of tiered biofiltration basins that form the “river.” The sequential basins step down a gentle slope to ensure gravity flow, separated by dressed stone checkdams. Much of the runoff infiltrates into the subgrade, while any that reaches the end of the biofiltering system is discharged to the Willamette River.
The Rain Garden at the Oregon Convention Center is a delightful surprise, tucked along a quiet side of the facility. It is beautiful and eye-catching, transforming the Center’s blank wall into a verdant showcase of the Pacific Northwest. The rainwater celebration is clear whether wet or dry, if one simply looks up the wall to the bold, huge scuppers: “rain from rooftop to river” is the obvious message.