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 porch- or portico-like structure at a main or secondary entrance to a building through which a horse and carriage (or motor vehicle) can pass in order for the occupants to alight under cover, protected from the weather.

In modern usage, portes-cochère are still used on some types of buildings such as major public buildings and hotels, where they provide pick-up and drop-off space, for example for dignitaries, taxis and buses. [1]


The porte-cochère was a feature of many late 18th- and 19th-century mansions and public buildings. Well-known examples are at Buckingham Palace in London and at the White House in Washington, D.C. [2]

Today a porte-cochère is often constructed at the entrance to public buildings such as churches, hotels, health facilities, homes, and schools where people are delivered by other drivers. Portes-cochère differ from carports in which vehicles are parked; at a porte-cochère the vehicle can pass through, stopping for passengers to board or alight.

At the foot of the porte-cochère there are often guard stones, which act 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.
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