A Chinese elementary school located in Taizhou in China's Zhejiang province has come up with an innovative way to save space on land by building an athletic track on its roof. Designed by LYCS Architecture, the Tian Tai No.2 Primary School features an open-air rooftop basketball court, 100 meter sprinting track and a 200 meter looped running track, which is half the size of an Olympic track.
In order to complete the achievement, the entire structure of the school was built in an oval shape and reduced to four levels (instead of five) to cater for the rooftop athletics area. Made possible by the circular shape of the building, the school also features a 2,658 sq m (28,610 sq ft) internal courtyard, which is suitable for further physical activities, whole school assemblies and lunch time play area. The classrooms and walkways also look out onto the interior courtyard, creating a private and protected environment for the students.
"The design focuses on the relationship between architecture and site, site and city, form and function," says LYCS Architecture. "Because of the very small area given, the 200 m running track was projected onto the roof level, giving an additional 3000+ sq m [32,291 sq ft] of usable area on the ground as well as the oval shape of the school building, creating a sense of inwardness and security for the students."
The open air track is protected by three layers of safe guarding, which includes: an external 180 cm (5.9 ft)-high tempered glass wall; a 50 cm (1.65 ft)-wide green belt, and an interior 120 cm (3.93 ft)-high metal guardrail. In an effort to reduce kinetic noise throughout the building below, spring cushions have also been dispersed beneath the all-weather running track.