Perched atop the hills rising from the Douro River, the famous infinity pool at the Quinta do Crasto was designed at the beginning of this century by architect Eduardo Souto de Moura, winner in 2011 of the world’s most prestigious architecture award, the Pritzker Prize. For more than a decade, this gem has embellished this prized location.
One of the most remarkable characteristics of architecture is its ability to create optical illusions depending on the angle from which a piece is viewed. Although this pool appears to be a rectangle, it is, in fact, trapezoidal. In other words, two sides, the furthest ones, are parallel while the lateral ones are in fact diagonals: one, on the side of the schist wall, slightly penetrates the wooden deck sporting tables, lounge chairs and umbrellas. On the riverside, a more acute angle seems to hover mid-air over the Douro River, forming the famous corner of the pool where no one can resist taking a picture of the enchanting landscape.
In some pictures of Quinta do Crasto, aerial shots or those taken from some distance and at higher elevations, the trapezoidal shape can clearly be picked out. From there it is easy to see that the side of the pool facing the river is longer than that landside. This design maximises natural light throughout the site and makes the most of this premium location.