Y Bwthyn Palliative Care Unit: Artwork & Interiors

We are Macmillan Cancer Support, Cwm Taf University Health Board, KKE Architects and garden designer Olivia Kirk to create a calming and restful environment for patients and staff at the new Y Bwthyn Palliative Care Unit. 

The arts strategy for the new unit, which is due to open in late 2018, has been shaped by creative sessions with patients and staff, led by 

Throughout the consultation process people spoke of wanting a safe, welcoming and homely space.

Nature was a constant theme, with people wanting areas in the new unit which connected them with the landscapes of South Wales and the feeling of being outside in nature, a place where inside and outside boundaries dissolve and blur.

Artist Commissions

Willis Newson has therefore developed a series of artists' commissions to create this very special sense of place. 

A tall building is clad in a perforated metal screen. Artwork: Eclipse, 2011 Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead Artist Nicky Hirst has been appointed to design a series of vertical and horizontal metal screens which run around the outside of the unit, providing shade and also creating layers of privacy and permeability as you arrive at, or look out from, the Unit. 

Nicky will also be carrying these designs through into the window glazing. Using window vinyl, she will create glazing designs that will connect the inside and outside, while also providing privacy and dignity for those in bedrooms or treatment spaces. 

A second artist will be commissioned later this year to create a feature wall running along the interior spine of the building, providing a welcoming first impression and creating an identity for the unit.

Partnership working

A partnership with the University of Wales Trinity St David Surface Design course has enabled us to commission a 4th year MA student to carry out a commission for the inpatient areas as part of the course work.

The partnership will create a career development opportunity for upcoming Welsh talent.

Working with local Welsh artists, further projects have been developed which support the spirit of community at Y Bwthyn and provide opportunities for patients and staff to take ownership of spaces. 

There will be bespoke display areas for patients to exhibit work in the day unit, interchangeable personalisable picture shelves inpatient bedrooms and local landscape photography to display.  

Image: Artwork by Nicky Hirst - Eclipse, 2011 Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead


The facade is an efficient modern skin over the top of the existing structure, made of powder-coated aluminium and glass which will be easy to keep clean.