Quick Links

Martin Bressani

Martin Bressani - Claire Dufour

Graduate Program Director

Associate Director (Post-Professional Program)

Associate professor
Docteur (Paris-Sorbonne Paris IV)
MSc Architecture (MIT)
BSc(Arch.), BArch (McG.)

Macdonald-Harrington Building
Room 304
Tel.: 514-398-5901
martin [dot] bressani [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Email)

Courses given

See the faculty list for the Graduate Program in History and Theory of Architecture.

ARCH 354 Architectural History 3

ARCH 405 Design and Construction 3

ARCH 653 Architectural Theory Sem 2


Martin Bressani, architect and architectural historian, is Associate Professor, Associate Director, and Graduate Program Director at McGill University’s School of Architecture. He holds an architecture degree from McGill University, a Masters degree in the History and Theory of architecture from M.I.T, and a Ph.D. in Art History from the Université de Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV). He has held visiting professorships at M.I.T, Cornell University, and Syracuse University and was a fellow at the Study Centre of the Canadian Centre for Architecture in 2003. He has published in many of the topical forums for architectural debates such as Assemblage, Any Magazine, Log, and has been on the editorial board of the Journal of Architectural Education and the M.I.T journal Thresholds. He has contributed essays to many books as well as publishing in scholarly journals such as the American Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians and Studies in the History of Art, the French Revue de l'art, the German Architectura: Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Baukunst, the British Art History and the Canadian Annals in the History of Canadian Art.

Bressani's central theme of research has been the organic metaphor in architecture, seeking to understand, through an interdisciplinary approach, the nature of the exchange between science and architectural thought and practice. He is also interested in the production of atmospheres or ambiances in architecture, and the concomitant development of the sense of an interior. Though he has covered many historical periods and geographical areas, his privileged domain of study is French nineteenth-century architecture. Bressani is currently completing a monograph on French architect and theoretician Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc titled Surface into Depth to be published in England by Ashgate.

He currently teaches in the third-year design studio, the undergraduate architectural history sequence, and a thematic graduate seminar in the History and Theory post-professional Masters option. Bressani’s doctoral students work on a range of subjects from the French boudoir to the relationship of neo-Gothic architecture to literature.