The Vila Olímpica was created for the 1992 Olympic Games. The city took advantage of the opportunity to completely renovate this sea front area: At the time, the old industrial belt of Poblenou was essentially a mess of warehouses, rail lines and industries. These were converted into a large coastline park with apartments which were originally used to house the athletes, and afterwards sold or rented to the locals. This new district, with its beaches, restaurants, promenade and night-life is today a favourite leisure resort for barcelonese citizens.
The Olympic Vila, christened Nova Icària in memory of the 19th century utopian socialists of the Poblenou, was the combined work of many renowned architects as each block was overseen by a different studio. It covers an area of some 65 hectares and around 2.000 apartments were built. The two towers Hotel Arts and Mapfre Tower, right by the sea, stand out to design Barcelonas's distinct outline. At their base is the leisure area dominated by Frank Gehry's Peix sculpture.
For the people of Barcelona, the rehabilitation of the beaches: Nova Icaria, Bogatell, Mar Bella; the new parks along the coast:
del Port, de la Nova Icària, de les Cascades y del Poblenou and the marina port are the most valuable amenities.
The Vila Olímpica is today a new residential district. Among other resources, part of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra is now in the area, housed in some old barracks and the library in a beautiful Modernist Water Tower. Other new service is the tram which links the Vila Olímpica with the plaça de les Glories and further western districts of the city.