This pro bono project is for a youth center on Chicago’s west side, one of the roughest neighborhoods in the city. Transparency and color are used as an invitation to bring kids into the building in a non-threatening way. Using durable and economical materials and minimal finishes, the streamlined design creates a compact suite of spaces that are visually united yet functionally independent. A range of facilities, from computer lab to gym, are provided to channel youthful energy into productive pursuits. The building was conceived as an inexpensive and fast-to-build construction effort to fill a need that is unmet by agencies such as the Park District or the Board of Education. In neighborhoods like Austin, where this center is located and which is underserved by public parks and other supervised recreational programs, the urgent need for such resources would support a simple, infill facility like this on every other block. The new 8,500 sf building is projected to achieve LEED Silver Certification and features a green roof and extensive daylighting throughout.