Fuse at Mason Square hits construction milestone


George Mason University’s new Fuse at Mason Square destination in Arlington will reach a major milestone this month with the “topping out” of what will become a 345,000-square-foot collaborative and digital innovation space in the heart of the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor.

fuse at Mason Square construction
New Fuse at Mason Square destination in Arlington will reach a major milestone this month with the “topping out.” Photo courtesy of Mason Facilities 

A “topping out” is commemorated when the structural frame of the building is complete.

Regional economic development leaders will join Mason leadership and Clark Construction in a hard-hat celebration on Friday, Nov. 3.

“As Mason expands from Arlington, Fairfax, and Prince William County, Fuse is a groundbreaking project that is redefining the modern university’s role in catalyzing business and talent growth in the region,” said Liza Wilson Durant, associate provost for strategic initiatives and community. “With it, we are one step closer to having a destination to collaborate with partners to development of new technologies.”

Watch the video about how Fuse will expand Mason’s commitment to research and innovation.

Mason President Gregory Washington will speak at Friday’s event, as will Ryan Touhill, director of Arlington Economic Development. Tours will be given to media and industry and government partners, and workers from Clark Construction will sign a commemorative banner.

When open—tenant occupancy is scheduled to begin in August 2024—Fuse at Mason Square will transform the innovation landscape in Arlington, with opportunities for students, researchers, and commercial partners to be part of an immersive atmosphere of ideation and innovation.

Fuse will be the headquarters for the Institute for Digital Innovation (IDIA), but all of Mason’s academic units will have a presence with expertise to amplify our collective impact on digital innovation.

That firmament will include the School of Computing, the first in the commonwealth, and the Volgenau School of Engineering, working together with the Schar School of Policy and Government, the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution, the Antonin Scalia Law School, the College of Education and Human Development, and the Donald G. Costello College of Business. The College of Public Health, College of Science, College of Visual and Performing Arts, and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences will also bring their expertise and programs in digital innovation to Mason Square.

“This destination really reflects computing being ubiquitous and at the center of all other applications,” said Andre W. Marshall, vice president for research, innovation, and economic impact at Mason. “Mason is growing the future businesses and future talent for the region through investments in entrepreneurship and more bachelor’s degrees in computing than any other Virginia university.”

That synergy will perfectly align with Mason’s mission of propelling Northern Virginia’s transition into a global technology hub while also expanding research opportunities at a university already classified as a top research institution by the Carnegie Classification of Institutes of Higher Education.

Further, Mason is ahead on its commitment as part of the Tech Talent Investment Program (TTIP), a statewide initiative to increase the number of bachelor’s and master’s graduates in computer science, applied computer science, computer engineering, and software engineering.

Students and faculty will be on hand Friday to demonstrate the novel technologies, inventions, and solutions that will flourish at Fuse.

“We really want to encourage what we call effective intellectual collisions,” said Page architect Rob McClure said. “On every floor of this project, there is adjacency of industry partners to Mason, and the labs, all the robotics, the cool stuff. The idea is there is cross pollination for all these different users. It’s really taking the ecosystem of innovation and putting it into practice architecturally.”

Sustainability is also at the forefront of the building with such features as a vertical solar array, a high-performance HVAC system, and the capture and treatment of stormwater via a green roof.

“Fuse will hit the mark on so many levels,” Wilson Durant said. “It will be at the nexus of all George Mason does in digital innovation.”