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Sources: Susanne Siepl-Coates,, 785-532-1122; and
Diane Potts, 785-532-1090,
News release prepared by: Katie Mayes, 785-532-6415,

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


MANHATTAN -- Kansas State University's Nicholas Turner, a fifth-year architecture student, Jefferson City, Mo., took first place in the recent 2009 Environmental Design Research Association's Student Design Award Competition.

Turner's winning entry was a design for the ideal room in an in-patient hospice house. Though most hospice care is offered through in-home service, the need for more in-patient hospice houses is anticipated as the baby boomer generation ages. Turner's proposal is intended to contribute to the development of the hospice house as a new building type.

The proposal, "Hospice: A Healing Environment for the End of Life," explored the ideal architectural characteristics for a hospice patient room. Turner focused on several themes, including residential intimacy, the dialogue between privacy and community, a connection to nature, and the patient's sense of control.

"The design themes explored in this project are intended to have a positive impact on the well-being of the room's users," Turner said. "It is hoped that this project informs health care professionals and architects in their ongoing search for a hospice architecture which caters to the multidimensional needs of the patient, family members and staff."

The winning entry can be viewed at:

The abstract and design proposal were developed as part of a graduate-level architectural design studio taught by K-State's Susanne Siepl-Coates, professor of architecture.

The Student Design Awards recognize work that is interdisciplinary, concerned with human factors in the design of the built environment and committed to promoting links between design research and practice.

Turner's first-place prize includes a one-year membership to the Environmental Design Research Association. He also has been invited to attend the association's meeting later this year in Kansas City, Mo., where he will be officially recognized at an awards ceremony.

Turner began his architecture studies at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and studied at the Czech Technical University in Prague, Czech Republic. He has worked at Schaefer Johnson Cox Frey Architects in Wichita for several summers, is a member of Tau Sigma Delta, Golden Key and Phi Kappa Phi academic honoraries, and has been a scholarship recipient. He plans to join the office of Beat Kaempfen Architect in Zurich, Switzerland, this summer.