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

A porte-cochère (/ˌpɔːrt kˈʃɛr/; French: [pɔʁt.kɔ.ʃɛʁ]), 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.[1][2]

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. [3]

Portes-cochère, which are for vehicle passage, are often confused with 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 the latter.[4]

Today portes-cochère are found at both elaborate private homes and such public buildings as churches, hotels, health facilities, and schools. Portes-cochère differ from carports in that the vehicles pass through for passengers to board or exit rather than being parked beneath the covered area.

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



  1. ^ "porte cochere". Merriam Webster Dictionary. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  2. ^ "porte-cochereor porte-co·chère"., LLC. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  3. ^ "Top 10 Design Tips to Dazzle Your Guests: The Porte Cochere". HKS Architecture. Archived from the original on 2017-10-17. Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  4. ^ "Shoptalk: Porte-Cochère". Treanor Architects. Retrieved 2015-09-18.