A porte-cochère, from the French meaning “coach door”, also known as a coach gate or carriage porch, is a covered porch-like structure at a main or secondary entrance to a building that gives access to a vehicle while providing arriving and departing occupants with protection from the elements.
Portes-cochère differ from porticos – columned porches or entries – in that they are designed for vehicular rather than human access.
The porte-cochère was a feature of many late 18th and 19th-century mansions and public buildings. Today porte-cochères are found at grandly designed private homes and public buildings such as churches, hotels, health facilities and schools. Portes-cochère differ from carports in that vehicles are intended to pass through them, rather than being parked underneath them.
porte-cochère. The Oxford Dictionary of Architecture, edited by James Stevens Curl and Susan Wilson, Online, Oxford University Press, 2015.
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