Shoptalk: portico

What is a portico?


A portico is a range of columns in the front of a building. Four columns is called tetrastyle; six a hexastyle, eight an octostyle; ten a decastyle. The latin term porticus can refer to every kind of covered ambulatory of which one or more sides are opened to the air, by rows, columns or of arches, whether it be attached to the front of a building or to its sides.



Porticos were heavily used in ancient Greek and Roman architecture specifically on temples. They continued to be popular in religious settings during the Middle Ages in Europe. Often used in monasteries, cloistered arcades connected the living quarters of monks to the church. Over time, Western civilizations began incorporating porticos into their secular buildings. They are most often seen at the entrance of government buildings at both the state and local level.

Related content

Stay on the leading edge

Stay up to date on emerging trends, research, hot topics, and more delivered conveniently to your inbox.

"*" indicates required fields

Treanor specialties I'm interested in
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.