In a creative bid to save space, LYCS Architecture installed a 650-foot-long running track on the roof of the Tiantai No.2 Primary School in Zhejiang, China. The bright red rubberized oval track covers an area of more than 30,000 square feet and is large enough to serve the needs of the school’s 1,800-student population. The architects hope that other urban schools squeezed for land will adopt this innovative space-saving 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.
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.
Images via LYCS Architecture, © Shengliang Su, Yu Xu