How to make a grand entrance and enjoy unloading groceries in the rain
“The front desk had already made a great fuss of Johnny and Mary, lining up to greet him at the famous porte-cochère as soon as his splendid old Rolls-Royce had arrived…”
Stephen FryMore Fool Me, 2014
We always enjoy driving into a porte cochère: there’s a certain sense of making a grand entrance, of feeling important, tinged with our nostalgia for more elegant times.
So what is a porte cochère? The literal translation from French is “Door Coachman”, and is sometimes (erroneously) defined as “carriage porch” or “Carport”. We define it as “a sheltering roof without walls over a driveway next to the entrance of a residence or business.” And in case you were wondering, here’s the correct pronunciation: /ˌpôrt kōˈSHer/.
Although we readily admit our bias for heavy timber porte cochères, examples of beautiful steel porte cochères do exist. To wit, Marylebone Station in London:
In addition to providing embarking and disembarking vehicle passengers with a glimpse into the ageless past, adding a heavy timber porte cochère to a home or business brings another benefit: it shields guests and customers from the weather.
Build a timber frame porte cochère at your residence, and you’ll appreciate it every time you unload groceries in the rain or snow.
Stay tuned: my wife wants to add a timber frame (what else) porte cochère to our home and she’s designing a contemporary shed type roof version with large overhangs.)
Want to make your own grand entrance?
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