This school sets a new model for international education in Kazakhstan. It transplants progressive education methods from the Haileybury School in the UK, into Kazakhstan. With both fee-paying and scholarship-supported students, its purpose is to be meritocratic rather than elitist in outlook, preparing students to go on to gain admission into the world’s leading universities, reinforcing confidence in the national identity. Design constraints included limited implementation time, the need to import materials and contractors from Turkey, extreme climactic variations and seismic risks. The school will ultimately be surrounded by high-density urban development, but the design will enable it to remain an island of physical openness.