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Annmarie Adams

Prof. Annmarie Adams addresses the St. James Literary Society, 22 March 2016 (Peter Gossage)Prof. Annmarie Adams addresses the St. James Literary Society, 22 March 2016 (Peter Gossage)William C. Macdonald Professor
BA (McG.), MArch, PhD (UC Berkeley)

Tel: (514) 398-6706
annmarie [dot] adams [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Email)

On sabbatical leave: 1 September 2015 to 31 August 2016



ARCH 355 - Architectural History 4 (Winter 2015) - Syllabus

ARCH 627 - Research Methods for Arch (Fall 2016) - PDF icon Syllabus (tentative)


Major research interests

  • the history of hospital architecture
  • longterm care institutions
  • material culture
  • cultural landscape studies
  • vernacular architecture
  • gender, sexuality and space



Recent Publications

“Canadian hospital architecture: how we got here,” Canadian Medical Association Journal (January 2016)

PDF icon “Architecture that Breathes,” Harvard Design Magazine 40 (S/S 2015), 14-19


Recent media

Peter Sealy, "The Hospital, Future and Past," Canadian Architect, 9 February 2016

Barbara Sibbald, "Medicine by design," Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), Barbara Sibbald, 5 October 2015


Papers currently under review

“Home and/or Hospital: The Architectures of End-of-life Care”

“Making himself at home: Cormier, Trudeau, and the Architecture of Domestic Masculinity” (with Cameron Macdonell)



PDFs of selected publications


Dr. Annmarie Adams is William C. Macdonald Professor at the School of Architecture, McGill University, Montreal. She is the author of Architecture in the Family Way: Doctors, Houses, and Women, 1870-1900 (McGill-Queens University Press, 1996), Medicine by Design:  The Architect and the Modern Hospital, 1893-1943 (University of Minnesota Press, 2008) and co-author of Designing Women: Gender and the Architectural Profession (University of Toronto Press, 2000).

Focusing on the cultural landscapes of houses and hospitals, she is particularly interested in the intersections of architecture and medicine.  She is currently working on a spatial biography of physician Maude Abbott, an overview of surgical environments, and a study of Wilder Penfield’s architectural aspirations.

Her research has garnered numerous awards, including the Jason Hannah Medal from the Royal Society of Canada, a CIHR Health Career Award, and a YWCA Woman of Distinction prize.  She is a Mentor in the University of Toronto’s CIHR-training program, Heath Care Technology and Place (HCTP) and has held research funds from CIHR, the Hannah Institute for the History of Medicine, SSHRC, Heritage Canada, and the Australian Research Council.  She is a board member of the Vernacular Architecture Forum and Winterthur Portfolio. At McGill University she is involved in a project to revive the university’s medical museum and is a devotee of the Osler Library.

Adams’ current post-professional Masters and PhD students are working on a range of topics regarding the social and cultural power of architecture:  children’s playgrounds, architecture for mental health, modernist dollhouses, women in German bunkers, Montreal’s bridges, the public lives of women artists, demolition in Montreal, and new housing for Nunavut.


Reflections on the process of writing:  The McGill Writing Centre.