Senior Thesis

Hope: An Environment for Revitalization

by Samuel Kalscheur

2011 Peter F. McKenzie Memorial Award for Architectural Design Winner


This thesis project focuses on the often-neglected need for a more holistic approach in today’s health care system, one that places a greater emphasis on psychological healing. Specifically, it seeks to identify building design approaches that promote both physical and mental well being for people with cancer, helping to reduce their anxiety and promote healing.

To uncover new design approaches, Kalscheur first studied how surrounding built environments affect people’s states of mind — and by extension their bodies. He also conducted an investigation into “eco-psychology” and how a strong connection to the natural environment might impact health. Discovering how we react to both the built and natural surroundings might help us manipulate these environments to best promote health and healing.

The typology of this project is a 4,000-square-foot cancer caring facility in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, where those struggling with the disease can go to gain information, spend time conversing with others, or simply find a private space in which to reflect and escape the stresses of a traditional hospital setting.

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