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A typical 19th-century porte-cochère, at Waddesdon Manor
A modern example at a hospital

A porte-cochère (/ˌpɔːrt kˈʃɛr/), coach gate or carriage porch is a covered porch-like structure at a main or secondary entrance to a building through which originally a horse and carriage and today a motor vehicle can pass to provide arriving and departing occupants protection from the elements.

Portes-cochère are still found on such structures as major public buildings and hotels, providing covered access for visitors and guests arriving by motorized transport. [1]

Portes-cochère, which are for vehicle passage, are often confused with or porticos, columned porches or entries for human traffic.


The porte-cochère was a feature of many late 18th- and 19th-century mansions and public buildings. A well-known example is at Buckingham Palace in London. A portico at the White House in Washington, D.C. is often confused with a porte-cochère, where a raised vehicle ramp gives an architectural portico the functionality of a the latter.[2]

Today porte-cochères are found at both elaborate private homes and such public buildings as churches, hotels, health facilities, and schools. Portes-cochère differ from carports in the vehicle passing through for passengers to board or exit rather than being parked.

Guard stones are often found At the foot of portes-cochère, acting as protective bollards to prevent vehicles from damaging the structure.



  1. ^ "Top 10 Design Tips to Dazzle Your Guests: The Porte Cochere". HKS Architecture. Retrieved 2015-06-18. 
  2. ^ "Shoptalk: Porte-Cochère". Treanor Architects. Retrieved 2015-09-18.