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Annmarie Adams

Annmarie Adams (Lea Grahovac)
Annmarie Adams (Lea Grahovac)
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 533 New Approaches to Arch History (Fall 2014) - Syllabus

ARCH 627 Research Methods for Arch (Fall 2014)


Major research interests

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


Recent Publications

Annmarie Adams and Sally Chivers, “Architecture and Aging: The Depiction of Home in Sarah Polley’s Away From Her,” Age Culture Humanities: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 2 (2015)

Annmarie Adams and Shelley Hornstein, “Can Architecture Remember? Demolition After Violence,” Environment, Space and Place, 7 (Spring 2015)


Forthcoming Talks

“Architecture is Brain Surgery,” Science and Technology Across Borders, Canadian Science and Technology Historical Association, York University, 6-8 November 2015



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, a study of interwar operating rooms, and depictions of longterm care in film. She is co-authoring a paper on Pierre Trudeau’s domestic environment in retirement.  This semester, Adams will give lectures/presentations at the Association of Architecture School Librarians (AASL) conference in Toronto, Cornell University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the British Association for Canadian Studies (BACS) conference in London.

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, Winterthur Portfolio, and the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. At McGill University she is involved in a project to revive the university’s medical museum, another to host a conference on the McGill superhospital, 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: Forillon National Park, the legacy of Olmsted’s plan for Montreal’s evolution, modernist dollhouses, women in German bunkers, Montreal’s bridges, the domestic spaces of women artists, demolition in Montreal, housing in Nunavut, and women’s occupation of public space in Mexico City/New York/Montreal. Professional Masters advisees are designing a new circus school for Montreal, bringing new life to the Shriners’ hospital, and testing the limits of functional zoning in Manhattan.


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