Confronting the rising cost of living and a critical need for affordably-priced housing in Northern Virginia, George Mason University chose to develop some of its vacant property as a tool for attracting and retaining young faculty and staff. The University selected Torti Gallas + Partners as part of a development team to design, build and manage housing at various sites on the Fairfax Campus. The program includes 157 units, ranging from one and two bedroom flats to three bedroom townhouses and duplexes on a 16 acre site on the east side of the campus.
The primary design challenge was to craft new neighborhoods as seams that knit together the University and the surrounding community of Fairfax City, and to try to manage area-wide rapid development that is expected to continue into the future. The design of the site and the housing ameliorates this by creating a network of walkable streets that establishes connections between “town and gown”, while discouraging increased through-traffic. The house designs capitalize on the best of the traditional architecture of nearby Old Town Fairfax.
16 acre site
157 residential units