Have you ever heard the term porte-cochere? It’s a French phrase meaning “coach gate” or “carriage porch” and if you have spent much time in old New Orleans or cities of similar ages and noticed the entrances to buildings and some homes, you have probably seen more of them than you think. A porte-cochere is simply a covered entrance to building that was used so people could alight (get in and out) from a carriage or automobile to enter the building out of the elements and a messy street.
The porte-cochere was commonly found on many late 18th and 19th-century mansions and public buildings. You may have noticed them on famous structures such as Buckingham Palace and the White House.
The modern porte-cochere is a major user of metal canopies in America today. You see them everywhere, especially at the entrance to public buildings or offices as well as places like churches and hospitals where people need extra time to get in and out of their vehicles. Some are simply utilitarian but others are truly are architectural gems.
Getting creative with an old idea
While the concept of the porte-cochere is not new, many designers and architects are putting their own twist on this classic by adding in materials such as copper to the rooflines and awning covers. Of course, it is not the only use of metal canopies, which can be used to cover large areas that extend from buildings, both commercial and residential, no matter the end use.
While aluminum and sometimes steel is used to fabricate a metal canopy, nothing offers the beauty and resilience of copper, especially on a dramatic architectural feature such as these.
- Attractive end products
- Architecturally appealing installations
- “Green”, cost-effective and long lasting
- A touch of class and elegance
- A natural patina that is not only beautiful but protects the installation
Image Credit: InterestingArchitecture: Porte Cochere