Zhejiang, LYCS Architecture, Tiantai, China, rooftop running track, running track, elementary school, space saving architecture, recreational design

Land shortage is a common problem in the old but cramped city of Zhejiang, and the nearly 78,000-square-foot area allocated for the elementary school was simply not big enough to comfortably fit ground-level recreational space. Thus, LYCS Architecture designed a rooftop running track and recreational court that, according to China Daily, have been very well received by the students since the school’s opening early this month. This space-saving solution also helped the architects keep the school to a height of four floors, rather than the originally planned height of five.

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The rooftop track comprises three layers of protective barriers to guarantee the safety of the children. The exterior layer is a 5.9-foot-tall tempered glass wall; the middle layer consists of a 20-inch-wide green belt; and the inner layer is a 4-foot-tall stainless steel guardrail. Spring cushions were installed beneath the track to provide a sound barrier. The design for a rooftop running track was introduced earlier this year at the 2014 Venice Biennial.

+ LYCS Architecture

Images via LYCS Architecture, © Shengliang Su, Yu Xu