School of Architecture
Docteur (Paris-Sorbonne Paris IV)
MSc Architecture (MIT)
BSc(Arch.), BArch (McG.)
martin [dot] bressani [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Email)
See the faculty list for the Graduate Program in History and Theory of Architecture.
Martin Bressani, architect and architectural historian, is Professor and Director at McGill University’s School of Architecture. He holds a professional 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, AD Magazine and has been on the editorial board of the Journal of Architectural Education and currently on the board of the journal Thresholds. He has contributed chapters 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. In 2014, Bressani has published an intellectual biography of French architect and theoretician Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc, Architecture and the Historical Imagination: Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc 1814-1879 (Ashgate).
Bressani's central theme of research has been the organic metaphor in architecture, seeking to understand the way architectural thought and practice relates to historical change. He is also interested in the production of atmospheres or ambiances, and the concomitant development of the sense of an interior, as a means to understand the way architecture establishes relations to the past and inheritance. Though he has covered many historical periods and geographical areas, his privileged domain of study is French nineteenth-century architecture.
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 Gothic architecture to literature.