An elementary school in Tiantai, Zhejiang province has installed a 200-meter-long running track on its roof in a creative bid to save space.
The rubberized track, which was used by the students for the first time yesterday, is located atop the four-story oval-shaped No 2 Elementary School of Tiantai Chicheng district and covers an area of more than 3,000 square meters. The school expects that the spacious running track will be large enough to satisfy the needs of its 1,800-student population.
The innovative idea of putting the track on the roof was born out of necessity; Qiu Tianguo, the school principal, said that with the limited site footprint of 7,210 square meters, there was simply no ground space available for a playground or running track. “The track on the roof perfectly solved the problem. Our students love the new track,” he told China Daily.
To assuage safety concerns, architects installed three protective barriers: a 1.8-meter-tall tempered glass outer wall; a green belt for the middle layer; and a 1.2-meter-tall stainless steel rail. Constant adult supervision and surveillance cameras will also help ensure the safety of the children.
Chief architect Ruan Hao says he could see the rooftop track design adopted by other schools looking for space-saving solutions.
The design of the rooftop running track was unveiled earlier this year at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia in a short documentary by the EMGdotART foundation. The documentary was shot as part of “ADAPTATION – architecture and change in China,” a trilogy of short video documentaries on Chinese architects born in the 1980s.
By Lucy Wang