“I can remember one day when we closed the villa to the public and used it only for us, for my sister’s wedding. The portico was the place where the bride and the groom met. That was the only day we enjoyed the villa for ourselves, as a family, without tourists -- something very, very special.” - Christian Malinverni, describing the Villa Godi Malinverni
Veranda, piazza, gallery, portico, stoop, loggia, colonnade, corredo, gallerie … these are all words that have become synonymous with the word “porch.”
But that’s not to say that these words all describe the same thing, because they don’t; they describe distinctively different architectural features.
Our focus in today’s blog is the portico.
Porticos are long, formal, symmetrical porches derived from classical Greek architecture. The portico is protected overhead by a triangular gable or pediment roofline that is supported by columns. Porticos traditionally were designed to shelter main entrances but over time were moved to the sides of buildings, especially churches, to protect secondary entrances and egresses.
A portico can help boost curb appeal and revamp the exterior of your South Bay home, in a fun and stylish way.
It gives the home some panache, when it is done right.
The key is to make sure the architectural style of your home and the portico itself, are congruent to one another. For instance, a colonial portico on a modern Manhattan Beach home would be awkward.
Everything (the posts, pillars, columns and materials) should be in harmony with your home and proportionate in size. Always use your home as the basis for the portico design decisions.
If you need help picking out your home’s style, take a look at some of the many remodeling and architectural publications and websites to find homes similar to yours. It will make it much easier to determine the type of portico and decorative details that will spruce up your residence, once you have nailed down your homes’ style.
Let’s say you are choosing building materials for the portico. Are there any exterior elements (brick or stone) on your home that can be carried over to the portico? If so, use them.
When designing your portico, you’ll also want to make sure:
- Upper windows are not blocked
- Supports are thick enough
- Columns aren’t too wide as to appear clumsy
- The pitch of the roof is taken into consideration
- A re-landscaping budget is put together (if necessary)
- Required building permits are obtained by the city
A portico adds dimension to a flat, underwhelming facade. It accents the home’s main entry, and contributes to the overall curb appeal. It is sure to enhance the beauty of your home, as long as it is integrated into the home’s existing architecture.
It could give your home the panache it’s been missing.