What is it with these big fake islands that look like things from the air? We’ve had palm trees, a map of the world, and now an island that looks like Russia! Particularly annoying is that these edifices are only appreciated from above, and maybe in the sales pitch, but certainly not as you approach. This time a very accomplished Dutch Architect, Erick van Egeraat, is the designer and one wonders how he became involved in this seemingly unoriginal and ridiculously opulent gesture. Anyway, it’s called Federation Island and is a 330ha artificial archipelago in the shape of Russia, to be built in the Black Sea near Sochi and completed in time for the 2014 Winter Olympics. Apparently Vladimir Putin inquired about technical details and construction time. Erik van Egeraat assured him that the Dutch, more than anyone else, knew how to reclaim land from the sea. The question is why?