The Olympic village was designed to house the athletes taking part in the games, but many of the richer athletes now prefer to rent suites in the best hotels of the host city.The first Olympic village was a collection of barracks hastily assembled in 1924 for the Paris games, but the first installation worthy of the name was built in Los Angeles in 1932. On some occasions the village consisted of an existing building converted for the purpose, as in London in 1948. There it was an old Royal Air Force barracks that was taken over.Olympic village buildings are built to be functional, since they must be converted to other uses after the games. The 1980 Lake Placid village became a prison for young offenders, the 1936 Berlin village an army barracks, and the 1980 Moscow village an apartment block.This is no doubt why fittings in Olympic villages are often not up to international standards of comfort. In Seoul, for instance, the rooms were not on a scale with western athletes' physiques: the doors and bathtubs were too small. In Barcelona the rooms were neither soundproofed nor air-conditioned.True to Soviet form, Russian athletes were not allowed to live in the Olympic village in Helsinki in 1952, because the leaders were worried that their athletes would be morally corrupted by western athletes.