Port Cocheres and attractive driveways are a winning combination!
A port cochere (pronounced port co-share) is a French word for “coach door” and was originally an entrance to a building that was large enough to permit a coach (horse drawn carriage) to be driven through to the interior courtyard. These gateways were commonly a feature of large homes and palaces built during the reigns of Kings Louis XIV and XV of France, as seen in the photo, below.
Different than a car-port, where vehicles can park, the port cochere evolved as an architectural element used to protect occupants in carriages or vehicles as they were dropped off at entryways. As a porch roof built over a driveway, the roof needs to be large enough to accommodate a wheeled vehicle, since its purpose was to provide shelter from the weather for those getting in or out of the vehicle.
The driveways leading up to port cocheres may have been constructed with dirt or gravel. However, the combination with a handsomely designed driveway using cobblestone or brick, is standard with today’s architectural styles from Traditional to Arts and Crafts.
Here is an example from one of our clients in Pebble Beach, CA. who selected Historic European Cobblestone for the driveway and motor court, accentuating the beautiful stone cladding and the port cochere.