The project is a small multi-purpose community building of 190sm situated in the heart of OppenheimerPark in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. The brief includes a multi-purpose room, a small servery, an office for park staff, and public washroom facilities. The park embodies a unique and significant story within Vancouver’s history. Opened in 1902 as the Powell Street Grounds, it was later renamed in honour of Vancouver’s second mayor, David Oppenheimer. It was the nexus of the Japanese Canadian community prior to WW II and served as home field for the Asahi Tigers baseball team, whose great success ended abruptly with the interment. Today, the park plays host to Vancouver’s longest running community celebration, the annual Powell Street Festival. Historically, the park has included many of the facilities expected of an urban park: playing fields, ball courts, children’s play area, commemorative installations, and support facilities. As the only green space in the Downtown Eastside, the park remained a popular family destination until the 1980’s when the drug trade and abuse began to dominate the park at the expense of other users. Since that time, the City of Vancouver has operated a multi-faceted program based in the park tailored to the unique and diverse Downtown Eastside community. For years, the City endured operating out of the weathered former caretaker house on the park premises. In 2008, the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation chose to renovate the park and replace the existing caretaker house with a properly dedicated Activity House. The project is the result of an engaging and participatory public process open to the extraordinarily rich and diverse neighbouring community. Returning the park to a place of safe recreation quickly emerged as the primary objective of the project. The siting strategy is particularly important. The location of the existing caretaker house created an unsafe and fortified impediment to the park along Powell Street, so renovation or replacement at this location was ruled out. Similarly, many of the other park amenities inadvertently restricted park access through their real or implied boundaries. To instigate more positive patterns of use, the building was pulled away from the edges and located as the centre-piece to the urban “room” of the park. The placement considers the preservation of several Sakura Maple trees planted in the 1970s by the Japanese Canadian community, as well as an existing totem erected by the Squamish Nation. The location creates a variety of different spatial zones suitable for the diverse park activities, allowing the open playing field, children’s area, ball courts, and gathering areas to co-exist with minimal physical separations. This absence of boundaries coupled with a centralized position allows the building to function as an inviting gesture for park patrons of all ages. The project achieves the paradoxical ambitions of being warm and welcoming during the day while mitigating the opportunities for more threatening and unsafe activities after hours. Its construction is relatively straightforward. A simple wood frame structure supports an elliptical shaped skin of rain-screen porcelain tile. The volume is eroded to create a pair of covered outdoor areas adjacent the multipurpose room. After hours, perforated aluminum screens are drawn to secure the open areas and to create the effect of a soft glowing lantern in the park. In the absence of corners and hiding places, night time pedestrians making their way past the building can do so with the feeling of safety and security.