The design by HMA2 Architects of the new American University of Central Asia (AUCA) Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, nods to liberal arts colleges of America while integrating the colors, patterns and hospitality of Kyrgyz nomadic culture. Like the indigenous yurt, the large academic building is a multi-use and flexible structure for learning, dining, gathering and playing. The dense weave of interior spaces aims to spark spontaneous and creative interactions, and takes extra advantage of every square meter. Framed between the architecture and mountains the welcoming entry quad recalls both the historic campus at the University of Virginia and the tree lined parks of Bishkek. A sustainable geothermal system utilizing the world’s most current technologies to heat and cool the building is a first in Kyrgyzstan—and with AUCA’s leadership, not the last.