Seraph-McSparren Pediatric Inpatient Center at Penn Medicine - Interactive Play, Lancaster General Hospital

Lancaster, PA

Lancaster General Hospital and Stantec looked to Metcalfe to design a series of interactive play spaces throughout a new 17-bed pediatric unit.

It was important to the hospital that these spaces celebrated STEAM learning. Metcalfe designed several opportunities for children and teens to explore STEAM’s learning modalities through play and observation.


A Rube Goldberg-inspired ball run embedded in the hexagonal playroom wall gives a nod to both engineering and physics. Patients can observe from multiple vantage points - even from windows in the alcoves beside and underneath the case! The adjacent magnetic gear wall invites patients to build simple machines of their own.

Along with Night Kitchen Interactive, a local digital design firm, Metcalfe also created a custom touchscreen seek-and-find within the new unit. The custom illustrations teem with STEAM-related content. A hundred unique objects are hidden throughout. Patients can even enjoy a multi-player feature that divides the layout so up to four separate scenes can be played simultaneously.


In the rear of the unit, a series of automata adorn the corridors. Automata are simple machines that imitate living things when in motion. Each automaton shows a humorous scene - from a chicken driving a tractor to a pair of dinosaurs swinging on a playground!


Since opening day on September 25, 2019, LGH has helped over 2,500 patients!


  • Winner of the 2020 IIDA Healthcare Design Award (Hospitals - Pediatric Category Winner)
  • Winner of the 2020 IIDA Pennsylvania, New Jersey & Delaware Chapter Best of Healthcare (under 50,000 SF) Design Award
  • Winner of the 2020 ABC Keystone Award of Excellence in Construction



Tour the Seraph-McSparren Pediatric Inpatient Center