The architectural complex that surrounds the man-made Pampulha lake was built between 1942 and 1944, and designed by one of the bastions of Brazilian architecture, Oscar Niemeyer. The city mayor at that time, Juscelino Kubitschek, invited the architect to design the buildings that, alongside the gardens of Burle Marx, would become icons of modern architecture.

In addition to cultural spaces, the São Francisco de Assis Church, famous for housing one of Cândido Portinari's most significant works; and the Yacht Tênis Club, a private leisure club; also form part of the architectural complex. All buildings are considered to be part of Brazil's heritage and it is hoped that they will become UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

In addition to its architectural, touristic and cultural vocation, the circuit is also of great sporting relevance given the presence of the Mineirao stadium and Mineirinho gymnasium, venues that are engraved in the memory of the mineiros.