Russia, by EEA
If this design would end up as a success, by the year 2030 we might have similar islands all over the world representing each country. The size of the island would be connected to the national product of a country, its wealth, leaving Africa with tiny islands littering its seas and lakes.
The idea seems simple. After example of ‘The World’ in Dubai, just take the image of a country and built it. And to take the idea just a step further into the literal; recreate the main geographical features of the land: “The Russian river network is used as a reference for the island’s waterways; the high mountains inspire the island relief”, EEA writes.
Beyond this simple image – is it a ‘hook’ to get the attention of the president? – the exact contents of the design are somewhat more complex. ‘The World’ and Palms of Dubai are an effect of a strategy to extent the coastline, this island though has pretty much the shortest coastline imaginable – if the ‘shores’ of the waterways are not taken into account. And more striking: the coast itself is kept pristine. There is no need for beaches, just a need for an image.
This reminds me of the architecture of national pavilions on World Expo’s. A national pavilion is also mostly designed to transmit an image of a country. To just recreate the map of a country is a simple representation of a country. A bit too simple maybe, as the country is presented as an island, while it in reality isn’t. With ‘The World’ in Dubai in mind, the reading of this project is like: The world; that is Russia. And that on the other hand can be considered a virtue by the Russian Government, I think.
Within the constraints of iconography an alternative to representing the map could be to represent an national icon. Canada plans a floating maple leaf, Switzerland has build an embassy in the form of their white cross, and for Holland we might consider building a tulip. For Russia though, what can we think of? A giant hammer and sickle? Haha, that’s no virtue. Compared to that, a map is safely neutral.
I just realize that from an investment point of view this ‘resort’ could really work. It might be build for the Winter Olympics of 2014 in the Black Sea. But after that it could very well get a second life as a vacation resort. And that means profit.
Erick van Egeraat meets President Poetin (Copyright EEA)