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XML presents Olympic Cities report
XML has completed a comparative study on Olympic candidatures commissioned by the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment and Atelier Making Projects. The study placed Dutch aspirations to host the 2028 Olympic Games in an international perspective by comparing the various bids by Madrid, Istanbul, Doha and Tokyo for the 2020 Games and the South African bid for the 2024 Games. Furthermore, XML developed three models for a possible Dutch bid for the 2028 Games. On the eve of the London Olympics, the two parts of this study are combined in the publication 'Olympic Cities: the Netherlands as Game Changer.'

The Amsterdam based architecture office XML worked on a comparative study on Olympic candidatures in the fall of 2011, as commissioned by the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment and Atelier Making Projects. The study, which compares the various bids by Madrid, Istanbul, Doha and Tokyo for the 2020 Games and the South African bid for the 2024 Games, discusses three themes, Cultural Pride & Marketing, Economy, Infrastructure & Design and Power Geographies, and clarifies the narratives that cities use in their bids, the various spatial concepts for the Games, and the power geography surrounding the bids. In this way, XML provides the first international perspective for the development of a Dutch bid for the Games. In the project XML collaborated with local correspondents in each of the researched cities: Gillian Benjamin (South Africa), Mirai Morita (Tokyo), Selva Gürdoğan & Gregers Tang Thomsen (Istanbul), Todd Reisz (Doha) and Gianpiero Venturini (Madrid).

The study established that existing bids, including the current Dutch proposals, are based on the paradigm of the Olympic Games as a mega-event. As XML shows, however, the Olympics are not a neutral autonomous, immutable event. Olympic history points to cycles of twenty years, in which the Games are closely linked to political, economic and social developments. Each period has a specific paradigm that defines the meaning of the Games and their significance for the times. The study also shows that it is highly probable that the 2028 Games will coincide with the start of a new cycle.  Under the heading 'The Netherlands as Game Changer,' XML proposes, therefore, that a Dutch bid should not focus on what the Games mean today, but should incorporate long-term global developments and their future ramifications for the Netherlands.

In line with these conclusions, XML has developed three spatial models that show how the Netherlands can host the 2028 Games by effectively responding to these long-term global developments. In the 'Deltapolis' model, the two Randstad areas, North Wing and South Wing, are integrated into a single, internationally competitive urban  region: the Deltapolis. The 'Virtual Games' model is a response to technological developments and the rapid digitalization of society. In 'Global Games,' finally, XML proposes a new organizational model for the Games that reinforces international networks and exchange between cities.  These visions for the Games, each with a specific narrative, are atuned to long-term global trends (instead of the limitations of current IOC requisites) and show how the Dutch bid can become an effective response to these trends. The visions may be viewed as a design postscript to the comparative study of Olympic candidatures.  

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Please contact XML via or +31 20 68 68 555

About XML:

XML is a contemporary cultural practice specialized in Architecture, Research and Urbanism. XML is interested in developing architectures that both reflect and provoke contemporary ways of life.

From its base in Amsterdam, XML has been involved in worldwide cross-disciplinary projects with an emphasis on cultural analysis. The work of XML is characterized by a research driven approach.

The approach and work of XML have been awarded numerous prizes, including a first prize in the Europan 9 competition for Almere. In the Europan 10 competition XML was the first office to be successful in three locations, winning first prize for their project in Tallinn and receiving honorable mentions for their proposals in Munich and Madrid. Parallel to its design projects, XML is currently conducting research into the architecture of general assembly halls of parliaments worldwide. The office has received grants from The Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts as recognition for their promising contribution to the field of architecture.

XML is a recognized voice in academia and has been teaching at universities such as the TU Delft, Tilburg Academy of Architecture and the Dessau Institute of Architecture (Bauhaus) in Dessau.

XML was founded in 2008 and is led by two partners, Max Cohen de Lara and David Mulder.

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