Portico of an Ottoman era mosque in Turkey
Portico of an Ottoman era mosque in Turkey by konevi

Basic definition

Portico is a roof structure that covers the front door of a building. It is supported by columns or enclosed by walls. It enhances the look of the buildings and protects the entrance from weathering.


Most of the sources state that porticos have originated from ancient Greece. They formed the entrances to ancient Greek temples. It is a prominent element in Roman and all classically inspired structures. A noteworthy example is a portico of the Pantheon in Rome. 

In the ancient temples, different variants of porticos were classified based on the number of columns they had.

Different types of Portico designs

Porticos are available in so many designs. While choosing a portico design, you should carefully consider the type of building and select a design that is well suited to its style and also the neighbourhood. Following are few of the portico designs to choose:

  1. Gabled roof portico
  2. Side & back door porticos
  3. Upper rail portico
  4. Hip roof portico
  5. Arched roof portico
  6. Round portico
  7. Bracket portico
  8. Shed or Fat portico
  9. Garage arbors & porticos

More detailed information on each of these styles is available here.

There is no standard of classification for portico designs hence, they may are also classified based on other parameters. Below are links to a few of the websites where they have classified portico designs based on other parameters.  


  1. A portico provides optimal protection for guests, front entryway and even the foyer. It’s a convenient amenity to shelter guests from heavy rain or a hot sun as they wait for the door to be answered. It prevents rain, sleet, and snow from getting into the entrance of a building.
  2. The shade provided by the portico will protect the front door from fading or even warping from the sun’s light.
  3. Portico has the power to create an excellent first impression of the building. 
  4. Porticos offer a solution to more living space, especially in small-sized homes with a limited plot area.  



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