Rio Celebrates 2012 Carnival in the Newly Renovated Oscar Niemeyer Sambadrome

The Oscar Niemeyer Sambadrome fills with thousands of spectators as brightly colored sequined samba queens dance the night away in Rio de Janeiro.  Designed by Brazil's legendary architect Oscar Niemeyer, the Sambadrome was originally constructed and inaugurated in 1984 to provide Rio with an urban facility that would serve as the permanent location of the traditional spectacle of the samba school's parade.

Oscar Niemeyer

In preparation for growing popularity of future Carnival's and the 2016 Olympics, the Sambadrome was renovated to expand the 60,000 person capacity to 90,000.  Concrete stadium seating is broken into separate sectors, offering a variety of seating arrangements and amenities, as they line the 700-meter-long Parading Avenue.  The long catwalk, overcome by the Samba School of Brazil is marked by a grand arc, located in Apotheosis Square, which also serves as the location of the Museum of Samba.


The one year renovation project required nearly 600 workers to work 24-hour shifts to quickly complete the work before this years festivities.  Check out the time-lapse below.