Natural Haven Created at the Cove


By Katie Thompson

Katie Thompson, ADP's Senior Interior Designer, explains how a natural, relaxing environment was key to the Cove's success

The Cove Macmillan Support Centre, recently completed by ADP at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro, aims to improve the lives of people affected by cancer by providing information and support. This includes advice, complimentary therapies and other support services.

The aim for the interior design strategy was to create a natural haven, a place to retreat to and relax in: a cove.

It was also important to create a positive patient experience by designing an interior that felt comfortable, welcoming and non-institutional, thus enabling the patients to relax and enjoy the different spaces.

Inspiration was drawn from the local environment. This provides a sense of well-being by enabling patients to make a connection with an area, creating a familiar sense of place.

ADP worked closely with Art Consultant Willis Newson, to create an interior evocative of the Cornish landscape. We ensured artwork and bespoke joinery worked in conjunction with colour schemes and finishes.

The entrance into The Cove echoes the sense of a harbour. An image of the coastline by renowned Cornish painter Kurt Jackson greets you as you walk in. As you circulate around the bespoke reception desk and display shelving (designed by furniture maker Scott Woyka and detailed using boat building techniques), you arrive into a welcoming café and relaxed seating area.

Interior colours and finishes were inspired by the neutral palette of natural elements including sand, the sea, timbers, pebbles and rocks, and accent colours found in wild flowers. 

Floor finish patterns were reminiscent of natural fibres, timbers, horizon lines, and sand ripples. It was important to get the right balance of neutral and accent colour throughout the building in order to create a welcoming, calm and uplifting experience.

Distinctive identities were given to the therapy and consulting rooms. Each room was named after a a different cove, and individual colours were specified in each room. This not only helps to create a variety and contrast, but also helps patients easily orientate around the building.

A mix of furniture was specified to work with each space. It was important to get the right balance between correct seat and back heights,  specified for patient welfare, but without it looking dated or institutional. So a more classic contemporary approach was adopted. Upholstered fabrics (passed by infection control) were also chosen instead of vinyl to  create a softer, more relaxed environment for patients and their families.

The centre has just been highly commended in the 2017 RICS awards, in the Community Benefit category.



Katie Thompson

Katie Thompson

Katie joined ADP in 2006 and has experience in many areas of interior design including Education,
Retail, Corporate, Healthcare,
Leisure and Residential.