The Breeders, Surrogacy Center  


Institutions have to deal with the evolving dynamics of our society and consequentially so do laws. In the past few years, the traditional nuclear family model, comprising of a father, mother and children, has completely changed with ew maternity methods emerging, being these in vitro fertilisation the solution for those couples with fertility problems, amongst others. As a society we have to address these new approaches and improve the life quality of those mothers whom find themselves in these circumstances.

The Breeders Project raises and addresses the following questions:

Is society ready for these new approaches?

Are we prepared for these new maternity methods?

Could surrogacy be the answer for those eager to create their own family?

Currently in Spain surrogacy is not legal although some parties have started drafting new law proposals that will probably in the future permit this practice to be legal.

The Breeders Project is set in a near future where surrogacy become a  reallity. Architecture and design enable this to come true with unique spaces where the future mother will be able to live during the gestation period. The Breeders complex will feature a misture of private spaces and communal areas where the mothers will be able to develop new skills and establish new relationships what will create the perfect atmosphere for this gestational process.

From a formal perspective, he private areas, including bedrooms and bathrooms, have a simple metallic structure that creates the perfect basic shelter where everything can happen. The flexible indoor space is customizable so each resident can customise it defining their own retreat without strains. On the other hand collective areas, which are separated from the private spaces so that noises and flows are controlled, include dinning rooms, laundries, living rooms, leisure areas, swimming pools… are essential for the mothers’ physical and psychological development.

The project ultimately questions whether it is possible to control all this factors to create the  perfect gestational period?

How could this new maternity methods be posible in a world leaded by capitalism?

Could architecture and design be the solution for this new future approaches?


What prompted the project?

The Breeders is my MArch Thesis project and was developed in University of Alcala during 2018. The site proposed by the professors of the Architectural Design Studio was Nuevo Baztan a small village near Madrid considered one of the best examples of productive towns in Spain. The isolated location, far away from civilization, and the strong history of the village creates the best environment to experiment with new typologies that are ethically questionable and that need to awake in unexploited areas.

What questions does the project raise and which does it answer?

The main question the project raises is “can architecture contribute to improve society living standards in a capitalized world?”. The project is developed to answer this question investigating similar comunal architectural typologies such as the monastry and the falanstery but also women monastries and the new women clubs that are emerging in big cities to apply those utopic architectural typologies in the new surrogacy complex. This investigations with an structured social map where roles are carefully distributed ensure the best architectural and social space for this future mothers.

Surrogacy has taken a center stage in daily news and conversations creating new debates in society about new emerging familiar nucleous and questioning whether this practice should or not be totally legalized and controlled. In many cases governments and politicians do not answer this new social need being afraid to go forward with confidence and not taking a clear position in relation to this complex new reality.

The Breeders is the answer for this uncertainty, is a possible method to develop the practice controlling it and evaluating the best procedures for it success.

How will a structure like the Breeders project facilitate and aid the mother with the gestation period?

An organized structure like The Breeders is possibly one of the unique ways to develop this new familiar methodology without being corrupted. The parts getting involved in the surrogacy program, the surrogant parents and the gestational mothers, are both evaluated and have to comply with specific medical, psychological and social requirements. Not everyone can take part in such a complex process and it is just when both parts are analyzed and contrasted that the process keep going. After the positive pregnancy tests the process starts and the gestational mother move to The Breeders to become part of the maternity program.
After the nine months of the gestational process and after the baby delivery, the gestational mother stays in the surrogacy center for an extra month where she is controlled and the best recuperation is guaranteed.

This strict and studied methodology enables to have everything structured so nothing is left to chance. This method guarantees that the surrogant parents and the gestational mothers are controlled during the whole process to avoid bad practices and to ensure the best gestational result.

How does the project cater for the aftermath of this period?

Society is continuously evolving. 50 years ago it was unthinkable to use contracepting methods, homosexual marriages were not allowed and women where restricted to the domestic private space with no chance to evolve as individuals. Now we live in a new society where everything is evolving rapidly with new technologies that are changing the way we understand our lives. It is now the right moment to let these new scientific developments go inside our inner feelings and to help us to evolve as a sophisticated society that is continually under development.

What is for you the power and potential of an architecture as that of the Breeders Project within the definition of a new family nucleus?

Familiar nucleus have evolved through history. In the begining the family shpere was private and it was restricted to our home domestic space. As time passed this private familiar environment have opened itself towards the world, softening the barrier between private domestic space and the public city. The Breeders is the result of this evolution. Private and public spaces are both flexible and are able to evolve within the inhabitant neccesities. Private rooms can be closed when needed but the frontier with the public space can disspear and outdoor areas can penetrate the private bedrooms invading every corner.

How are public vs private spaces negotiated within the structure?

The Breeders social structure is clearly defined having architecture as a social organizer and stablishing which role corresponds with each space. Gestational mothers coexist in the same residential space but have their private area defined so that they can feel they are masters of their own lives and have their own material assets.

How does the project sit within the wider community and context of the city?

The chosen location of the project in Nuevo Baztan guarantees the correct development of the process without interruption. A distance of 50 km separates the village from the bustilng city of Madrid what avoid having to interact with a wide community and a stablished social stratum. The strong cultural context of Nuevo Baztan, being one of the most important former productive villages in the country, gives the perfect background to develop a new settlement but this time not producing goods or materials but producing life and new social typologies.

To what extent do you see the project developing through time?

There is a slim chance for this kind of project to coexist with our society nowadays. The intention of the proposal is to make us think diferently and to discover that there is not an unique answer for one question. We mainly find information about surrogacy being inhumane as that this practice tends to destroy women rights and dignity but I believe we should try to investigate about new ways of developing new family methodologies. It is true that many times the system is corrupted and women rights are exploited but we should, as an evolving society, find new strategies that maybe now are not seen appropriate but might in a near future be widespread and common.