George Mason University Master Plan

Fairfax, VA

As George Mason University experiences tremendous growth, the university has begun planning for the evolution of its Fairfax campus over the next 25 years. The southwest sector master plan creates a flexible framework for growth that can respond to changing circumstances. At the core of the plan is the transformation of a 109-acre site, currently dominated by surface parking lots, into a mixed-use campus village.

By creating a master plan for the southwest sector, the university has the opportunity to identify specific concerns—such as parking, housing, services, and the natural landscape—and to adopt design principles that will carefully guide future growth to address and respect these issues. Simple logistical needs, like that for more student housing, become chances to redefine a portion of the campus as an urban village, with walkable streets, plentiful amenities, and new places for students to live, relax, and study.

To respond to the university’s desire to establish a cohesive and useful presence within this portion of the campus, new buildings will be constructed, including a hotel and conference center, research facilities, student housing, and campus-related retail services. The plan responds to existing natural resources by making the landscape an integral component of the overall design. Mason Pond, already a popular spot, becomes the Oval, an even more inviting and distinctive place for meetings, games, and outdoor recreation. The creation of multiple walkways and bike paths will encourage alternate means of transportation, reducing car traffic and circulation conflicts.

The designs and goals delineated in the southwest sector master plan will allow George Mason University to continue to improve its physical campus environment, as well as enhance the services and opportunities it offers its students.

EE&K’s new plan for the North Sector is designed to change the character from one of surface parking and automobiles to one of a vibrant pedestrian-oriented campus community. The plan provides a welcoming new face for the Mason campus. New gateways link the interior of the campus with the local community.

The north gateway is conceived to frame arrival views of the campus and off er a more distinct university presence. A new system of campus streets recreates the northern loop of Patriot Circle and provides improved connections with the campus circulation system for vehicles and pedestrians alike.

The new program includes approximately 1,200 new beds, 650,000 gsf of new academic space, 150,000 gsf of new administrative space, and structured parking to meet the needs of the campus community.

These new additions to the campus will increase the population of students living on the campus, provide more research space, and transform the north sector into an area alive with student activities, intercollegiate sports, interactive research, and meeting facilities.