OK, so maybe all Europeans don't leave their kids alone when they go out. Some, in the Spanish city of Manlleu [pronunciation: yo no se], take them to day care. Sweet, Mies van der Rohe modernism-inspired day care.
The architecture firm RCR Arquitectes created a sleek, light-filled, child-friendly International Style daycare center that includes multiple outdoor play areas and lots of child-height views and architectural details. [In Tokyo, I took the kid on a pilgrimage to the Okura Hotel, a post-war modernist landmark by Yoshiro Taniguchi (father of MoMA architect Yoshio, btw), across the street from the US embassy. The garden windows in the hushed lobby were all at knee-height, designed to be seen only when sitting in a low-slung Danish lounge chair--or by a wandering kid.]
Seeing stark minimalist shapes in bright, happy colors is a mixed blessing; it looks great, sure, but it's also obviously that kids=primary colors cliche that I suspect is driven more by adults than kids. The other issue only gets brief mention: acres of glass+dozens of kids gone wild=lots of fingerprints. The cleaning crew apparently works overtime to keep that minimalist look going. Tell me about it.