Timber porch detail
(from the catalan
word ,"porxo") is a structure attached to a building, forming a
covered entrance to a vestibule or doorway. It is external to the
walls of the main building proper, but may be enclosed by screen,
, broad windows, or other
light frame walls extending from the main structure.
There are various styles of porches, all of which depend on the
architectural tradition of its location. All porches will allow for
sufficient space for a person to comfortably pause before entering
or after exiting the building. However, they may be larger.
, for example, are usually quite
large and may encompass the entire facade
well as the sides of a structure. At the other extreme, the Grand
Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan has the longest porch
in the world at in length.
England the porch is typically a small vestibule where wet or muddy
clothing can be removed before entering the main house.
is often called a mudroom in New England. In the Western United States
, ranch style
homes often use a covered porch to provide shade for the entrance
and southern wall of the residence. In the Southern United States and Southern Ontario, Canada, a porch is
often as broad as it is deep, and may provide sufficient space for
residents to entertain guests or gather on special
Older American homes, particularly those built
during the era of Victorian
, or the Queen Anne
, often included a porch in both the front and the back of
the home. However, many American homes built since the 1940s with a
porch only have a token one, too small for comfortable social use
and adding only to the visual impression of the building. The
movement in architecture
urges a reversal in this trend, recommending a large porch facing
the street, to help build community ties.
When covered, a porch not only provides protection from sun or rain
but may also form, in effect, an extra exterior room that may
accommodate chairs, tables and other furniture, to be used as
living space. Screens are often used in some areas to exclude
Porches typically are architecturally unified with the rest of the
house, using similar design elements as the rest of the structure,
and may be integrated into the roofline or upper stories.
projecting porch had come into common use in churches by early
Highly decorated two-storey south
porch of 1480 at Northleach Parish Church, England.
They were usually built of stone, but also
occasionally of timber. They were normally placed on the south side
of the church, but also on the west and north sides, sometimes in
multiple. The porches acted to give cover to worshippers, but they
also had a liturgical use. At a baptism, the priest would receive
the sponsors with the infant in the porch and the service began
In later medieval times, the porch sometimes had two storeys, with
a room above the entrance which was used as a local school, meeting
room, storeroom and even armoury. If the village or town possessed
a library of books, it would be housed there.
Sometimes the church custodian lived in the upper storey and a
window into the church would allow supervision of the main church
interior. Some British churches have highly ornamented porches,
both externally and internally. The south porch at Northleach, Gloucestershire, in the Cotswolds, built in 1480, is a well-known example, and there
are several others in East
Anglia and elsewhere in the UK.
India porches and verandahs are popular elements of
secular as well as religious architecture.
In the Hindu temple
is a porch-like structure through the gopuram
(ornate gateway) and leading to the temple.
It is used for religious dancing and music and is part of the basic
temple compound.Examples of Indian buildings with porches include:
Porch or Porxo
- Mohney, David (1991). Seaside. Architecture Design and
Technology Press ISBN 978-1854548030
- Jones, 1969, p.46-48