Lack of Building Space Inspires Chinese School to Build Running Track on Its Roof

An elementary school in Tiantai, in China’s Zhejiang Province, has a 200-meter running track built on its roof. It’s a strange place to have children running, but the school’s authorities didn’t have much of a choice. There wasn’t any construction land available on the campus grounds, so they figured a track on the roof is better than no track at all.

“Under the circumstances that limited land cannot provide enough space for students to exercise in, we chose to challenge the concept that playgrounds and tracks have to be on the ground,” said chief architect Ruan Hao. The unique design has received worldwide recognition – it represented China at the 14th Venice Architecture Exhibition this year.


Photo: Yu Xu

The unusual roof-track is good enough to meet the physical education needs of the school’s 1,600 students. It is equipped with all sorts of safety measures – there are three protective layers to keep the kids safe. Surrounding the track at the very outer edge is a six-foot glass wall. The wall closest to the track is four foot tall, and there’s a green belt sandwiched between the two walls. Authorities have also installed surveillance cameras to constantly monitor student activity.


Photo: Shengliang Su

The unique rooftop running track was inaugurated in September and provides more than 3,000 square meters of space for students to play and exercise in complete safety.


Photo: Shengliang Su


Photo: Yu Xu

via China Daily