Annmarie Adams

Annmarie Adams (Owen Egan)Annmarie Adams (Owen Egan)
Stevenson Chair in the History and Philosophy of Science, including Medicine
BA (McG.), MArch, PhD (UC Berkeley)

Tel: (514) 398-2915
annmarie.adams [at] (Email)



ARCH 251 - Architectural History 2 (Winter 2019)
PDF icon Architectural History 2 syllabus


Major research interests

  • history of hospital architecture
  • longterm care institutions
  • medical museums
  • material culture
  • cultural landscape studies
  • vernacular architecture
  • gender, sexuality and space
  • innovative research methods


Recent Publications

Adams, A., "Remembering Peta Tancred," Parlour: women, equity, architecture, September 3, 2017.

A.   Adams, S. Chivers, “There’s no place like home: Designing for Long-term Residential Care in Canada,” Journal of Canadian Studies, Vol. 50, No. 2.

Jim Wright, Richard Fraser, Annmarie Adams, Mary Hunter, “Portraying Maude Abbott,” Canadian Medical Association Journal, 2017 February 21;189:E281-3. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.160976

Adams, A., Macdonell, C., “Making himself at home: Cormier, Trudeau, and the Architecture of Domestic Masculinity,” Winterthur Portfolio, 50, no. 2/3 (Summer/Autumn 2016): 151-189. DOI: 10.1086/689984

Adams, A., “Home and/or Hospital: The Architectures of End-of-life Care,” Change Over Time, vol. 6, no. 2 (Fall 2016): 248-63.

Adams, A., Toromanoff, D., “Kitchen Kinetics:  Women’s Movements in Sigrun Bulow-Hube’s Research,” Resources for Feminist Research 34, 3 & 4 (2015/16), 9-40.

Adams, A. “De-coding Modern Hospitals: An Architectural History,” AD magazine, special Issue: Design for Health: Sustainable Approaches to Therapeutic Architecture, ed. Terri Peters (March/April 2017) 87, Issue 2, 16-23.



PDFs of selected publications


Dr. Annmarie Adams is jointly appointed in the School of Architecture and the Faculty of Medicine.  She holds the Stevenson Chair in the History and Philosophy of Science, including Medicine.  She is currently Chair of the Department of Social Studies of Medicine in McGill’s Faculty of Medicine.

Adams has written, co-written, and co-edited five books, including 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), Designing Women: Gender and the Architectural Profession (University of Toronto Press, 2000), with sociologist Peta Tancred, and two volumes of Perspectives in Vernacular Architecture.

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 Wilder Penfield’s architectural aspirations, and an overview of architecture designed for medical education.

Her research has garnered numerous awards, including the Christophe Pierre Award for Research Excellence, the Jason Hannah Medal from the Royal Society of Canada, a CIHR Health Career Award, and a YWCA Woman of Distinction prize.  She 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 (and member of the Board of Curators) of the Osler Library. In 2015, she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.

Adams’ current Masters and PhD students are working on a range of topics exploring the social and cultural power of architecture: Louis Kahn’s architecture for science, the design of Indian Residential Schools, Montreal’s benevolent institutions for women, modernist dollhouses, World War II German bunkers, Montreal’s bridges, mobility and women architects, the cultural work of demolition, 20th-century school design, homelessness, and Filipina house design.


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


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