School of Architecture College of Design

Ozayr Saloojee, Associate Professor

Ozayr Saloojee

Associate Professor


Telephone: (612) 625-0690

Office: 253B Rapson Hall

Ozayr Saloojee


M.Arch, with Distinction School of Architecture, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada

B.Arch, with High Distinction

School of Architecture, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada


Born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, Professor Saloojee completed his secondary and university schooling in Canada.  He obtained both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Carleton University’s School of Architecture in Ottawa.  While teaching as an adjunct assistant professor, he served as an Associate with GHDG, an interdisciplinary design studio that focused on issues of cultural and religious expression in architectural, design-build and writing projects. He remains active as a design consultant in Islamic and related architectural projects.  He joined the School of Architecture in 2005 and teaches in both the undergraduate and graduate programs

Research Interests:

Among Professor Saloojee’s research interests  is a focus on questions of tradition and modernity in Islamic Art and Architecture, and how these provocations intersect and cross with the Abrahamic traditions of Christianity and Judaism.  This particular investigative orbit has generated a long standing inquisitiveness about the role of the sacred in architecture - which has led to a renewed curiosity about the work and ethic of the Ottoman architect Sinan.  An emergent research trajectory is an interest in contested landscapes and how architecture and urbanism facilitate (or deny), augment or inflect issues of identity and belonging in the cultural and political landscapes of such cities as Istanbul, Cape Town, Jerusalem and contemporary landscapes in the Arab world.  Bracketing his research is the essential issue of social ethics in architecture - and in particular how design and scholarly work is framed by the role of architecture as a design ethic.

Current Research: 

  1. Contested Terrains:  Architecture, Identity and belonging in Istanbul.                                     
  2. Book monograph:  Eliel Saarinen’s last built work: Christ Church Lutheran, Minneapolis.
  3. Issues of tradition and modernity in Islamic Architecture
  4. Social ethics in design

Teaching Areas:

  • Architectural Design: Studios (Undergraduate: ARCH 3250, 3282, 4282, Graduate: ARCH 8251, 8253, 8255)
  • M.Arch Thesis (ARCH 8777)
  • Topics in Architectural Representation: Constructing Sacred Space (ARCH 5350)
  • Study Abroad: Istanbul

Selected Publications:

‘Solomon’s Narrative: Architecture, Text and the Sacred,’ Book Chapter in book Reading Spiritualities: Constructing and Representing the Sacred, D. Sawyer and D. Llewellyn eds, Ashgate Press, November 2008, pp. 175-188.

‘Flamel’s Dream: Architecture as Alchemy.’ 23rd International Conference on the Beginning Design Student Conference Proceedings. Professor C. Rathmann, editor. Savannah, GA: Savannah College of Art and Design, March 2007. 

‘Designing Damnly and Refabricating Architecturally: Identity in Architecture. ’ T/Here Journal of Architecture and Landscape. University of Minnesota.

‘Catalyst, Consequence, (re)Definition: Language and Architecture.’ ACSA NE Conference Proceedings. Professor T. Goode, editor, Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University, October 2004.

‘Architecture and Wonder: The Spirit of the Design Studio.’ ACSA E Conference Proceedings. Professors Keelan Kaiser and Jhennifer Amundsen, co- editors, Elgin, IL: Judson College, September 2004.

‘Abraham as Bridge and Mediator: A Metaphoric Reflection on the Alhambra.’ ISAMA/Bridges Conference Proceedings. Professors Javier Barallo, Nathan Friedman, Reza Sarhangi, Carlo Sequin, Jose Martinez and Juan Maldonaldo, co- editors, Granada, Spain:University of Granada, Faculty of Sciences, July 2003.

‘9/11 and Possible Histories.’ ACSA W Conference Proceedings. Professor Michael Lucas, editor, San Luis Obispo, CA: CalPoly, November 2002.

Selected Symposia:

Eero Saarinen: Beyond the Measly ABC

Co-organizer and invited speaker: parallel symposium to the ‘Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future’ exhibit at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Christ Church Lutheran and College of Design. Curated and organized a photographic exhibit in parallel with the symposium at Christ Church Lutheran. Other speakers included Donald Albrecht, Marc Coir, Susan Saarinen, Eva-Lisa Pelkonnen, Timo Tuomi, Thomas Fisher, Christopher Monkhouse, Nancy Milller and Beatriz Colomina.

Architectures of Emptiness

Invited discussant with Ciraj Rassool (Professor of History, University of Western Cape, South Africa), Dr. Yasmin Arif (Seminar Sawyar Post-Doctoral Fellow, Department of Political Science, Hubert Humphrey Center, University of Minnesota) Institute for Advanced Studies Symposium, April 2008.

Sacred Sites | Sacred Sights: Architecture, Ethics and Spiritual Geographies

Co-organizer, with Virajita Singh and Richard Kroeker (University of Nova Scotia)

School of Architecture, University of Minnesota, April 4-6, 2008.  Keynote speakers: Daniel Bertrand Monk  (Colgate University, Woodrow Wilson Fellow) and Alona Nitzan-Shiftan (Technion, Israel).

Selected Presentations/Panels:

The Next Largest Thing:  Eliel and Eero Saarinen’s Christ Church Lutheran

Invited Lecture. ‘Eero Saarinen: Beyond the Measly ABC,’ Christ Church Lutheran, October 12, 2008.

In the Name of the Father and the Son: The Saarinens at Christ Church

Invited Lecture, Minnesota State University, Mankato, Minnesota, October 9, 2008.

Sinan: Tradition in Transformation

‘Working Through Architecture: 9 Architects | 9 Lectures | 9 Tuesdays’  Pohlad Hall, Minneapolis Central Library.  February 19th, 2008.

Narrative (His)Stories: Architecture, Religion and Sacred Space [paper presentation]

The Past in the Present. Department of Historical Studies, Glasgow, Scotland: Glasgow School of Art, October 2007.

The Solomnic Narrative: Architecture, Text and the Sacred [paper presentation]Reading Spiritualities - Constructing and Representing Spiritualities Through Texts - Literary, Visual and Sacred. Department of Religious Studies, Lancaster, England: Lancaster University, January 2005.

North Forks Design Charette: Mixed-Use Development [panel discussion]

Panelists: Marc Boutin (University of Calgary),Eduard Epp, Richard Milgrom (University of Manitoba), Ozayr Saloojee (University of Minnesota), Jean Trottier (University of Manitoba) Faculty of Architecture, Winnipeg, Manitoba: University of Manitoba, November 2005.

Selected Exhibitions:

Christ Church Lutheran: Three Photographic Visions

(co-curator, organizer)

Partnered with the symposium, ‘Eero Saarinen: Beyond the Measly ABC,’ this exhibit features the work of three photographers: Balthazar Korab, George Miles Ryan and Pete Sieger, AIA. The exhibit was designed with VJAA, and fabricated by Site Assembly of St. Paul.  October 12, 2008-January 9, 2009.

Workbook/Idea Factory

(Personal work Headline)

Katherine E. Nash Gallery, MN: University of Minnesota, May-June 2008.

ARCHITECTURE IN ISTANBUL: 2008 Festival of Nations

Rivercenter, St. Paul.  May 1-4, 2008.

SACRED SITES | SACRED SIGHTS: Architecture, Ethics and Spiritual Geographies

Organizer and curator. School of Architecture: HGA Gallery, Minnesota, MN: University of Minnesota, March-April 2008.

FACULTY WORK (Abrams | Ibarra-Sevilla | Saloojee)

School of Architecture: Rapson Library, MN: University of Minnesota, March-April 2008.


Member of advisory and curatorial committee

Regis Center for Art: Nash Art Gallery, Minnesota, MN: University of Minnesota, November 2006.

LAAL - The Passion of Zahoor ul Akhlaaq

Design/Build installation. Art Gallery of Mississauga, Toronto, Ontario: September 2003.

Selected Honors/Awards/Grant Funding:


M.Arch Student Choice Award

For graduate faculty teaching (award is voted on by graduating class)


McKnight Arts and Humanities Endowment University of Minnesota ($20,000)


2008 AIA National Honor Award for Education For ‘An Incomplete Curriculum for Transformation,’ submitted with Ritu Bhatt, Renee Cheng, John Comazzi and Marc Swackhamer.


Grant-in-Aid of Scholarship, Artistry and Research University of Minnesota ($20,000)


Faculty Minigrant Metropolitan Design Center: University of Minnesota ($1,000)


University Senate Medal in Architecture School of Architecture, Carleton University


B.Arch Design Thesis Award School of Architecture, Carleton University

School of Architecture
145 Rapson Hall
89 Church Street
Minneapolis, MN 55455

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