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Robert Mellin

Robert Mellin
Associate professor

Member, Royal Canadian Academy of Arts

PhD (Penn), MSc (Penn), MArch (McGill)
MSc Arch (Penn State), BArch (Penn State)

Macdonald-Harrington Building
Room 313
Tel.: 514-398-6719
robert [dot] mellin [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Email)


Robert Mellin has been a registered architect since 1978. In 2002 he was elected to the R.C.A. (Royal Canadian Academy), and he was elected to Fellowship in the RAIC in 2009. He has received eight Southcott Awards for his heritage conservation projects in Newfoundland, and in 2005 he received a Manning Award from the Historic Sites Association of Newfoundland and Labrador. In 2006 he received the Paul E. Buchanan Award for excellence in fieldwork and interpretation from the Vernacular Architecture Forum. He is past-Chair of the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador. His book Tilting: House Launching, Slide Hauling, Potato Trenching and Other Tales from a Newfoundland Fishing Village was published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2003 and it won the Winterset Literary Award. His chapter on the Ludlow premises in Joe Batt's Arm, Fogo Island, Newfoundland appears in the anthology Despite This Loss: Essays on Culture, Memory, and Identity in Newfoundland and Labrador (St. John's: ISER, 2010). In 2011, Professor Mellin’s book Newfoundland Modern: Architecture in the Smallwood Years, 1949-1972, was published as part of the McGill Queen’s/Beaverbrook Canadian Foundation Studies in Art History series.

Research interests

  • Vernacular architecture / cultural landscapes
  • Heritage conservation
  • Modern architecture

Community service

  • Past-Chair, Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Editorial Board, Journal of Architectural Education
  • Board Member, Royal Canadian Academy of Arts
  • Board Member, Vernacular Architecture Forum (VAF)
  • Volunteer architectural consultant: Tilting, Fogo Island, NL (Registered Heritage District and National Cultural Landscape District)

Recent awards

  • 1997: Southcott Award (Harold Dwyer House, Tilting)
  • 1997: Southcott Award (Lane House, Tilting)
  • 1999: Southcott Award (F.P.U. Premises, Seldom, Fogo Island)
  • 2002: Southcott Award (Restoration of 113 Bond Street, St. John’s)
  • 2003: Southcott Award (Rowe House addition, St. John’s)
  • 2004: Winterset Literary Award (first place: for Tilting)
  • 2005: Manning Award (Dwyer Premises restoration, Tilting)
  • 2005: Southcott Award (Dwyer house restoration, Kelley’s Island, Tilting)
  • 2006: Paul E. Buchanan Award for interpretation and heritage conservation (Vernacular Architecture Forum)
  • 2007: Southcott Award (Brett House, Joe Batt's Arm, Fogo Island)
  • 2009: Southcott Award (Old Post Office, Tilting, Fogo Island)

Courses given (2014-2015)

ARCH 221 Architectural Drawing

ARCH 303 Design and Construction 1

ARCH 324 Sketching School

ARCH 566 Cultural Landscapes Seminar

ARCH 700 Dissertation Proposal

ARCH 701 Comprehensive Oral Examination

ARCH 702 Progress Report 1

ARCH 703 Progress Report 2

Courses given previously

ARCH 201 Communication, Behaviour&Arch

ARCH 202 Arch Graphics&Elements of Des

ARCH 304 Design and Construction 2

ARCH 541 Sel Topics in Architecture 2

ARCH 627 Research Methods for Arch

ARCH 645 Housing Project 1

ARCH 671 Design Research & Methodology

ARCH 672 Architectural Design 1

ARCH 673 Architectural Design 2

Current Research


Past Research


Roddick Gates Reconsidered: ARCH 673 Charrette Project, January 7-17, 2011


Architectural Design 1 (ARCH 672)

Fall 2010 webpage

Architectural Drawing (ARCH 221)

Fall 2011 webpage

Architectural Graphics and Elements of Design (ARCH 202)

Winter 2012 webpage

Communication, Behaviour and Architecture (ARCH 201)

Fall 2011 webpage

Design and Construction 1 (ARCH 303)

Fall 2014 webpage

Fall 2009 webpage

Fall 2008 webpage

Fall 2007 webpage

Design and Construction 2 (ARCH 304)

Winter 2010 webpage

Winter 2009 webpage

Winter 2008 webpage

Housing Seminar 2 (ARCH 631)

Winter 2009 webpage

Cultural Landscapes Seminar (ARCH 566)

Winter 2012 webpage

Fall 2010 webpage

Cultural Landscapes Seminar (ARCH 541)

Winter 2010 webpage

Cultural Landscapes Studio

Winter 2007 webpage

Design Research and Methodology (ARCH 671)

Winter 2005 webpage

Winter 2004 webpage

Winter 2003 webpage

Winter 2001 webpage

Winter 2000 webpage

Tilting exhibition at The Rooms, St. John's, Newfoundland (Sept. 28, 2007 - Jan. 13, 2008)

Text and photos

Peel Basin Revisited by McGill University Students, Winter 2008

On the website of the Committee for the Sustainable Redevelopment of Griffintown

BBC radio documentary with content from Robert Mellin's Tilting research

On the Battery Radio website, click on The Currency Exchange.