There are two general types of portico in plan form.
The first is where a temple’s walls extend beyond the cella (inner chamber) and form side walls of the porch or anteroom. Generally, these long walls would terminate with antas (corner post or pilaster). The portico, or open end of the porch, is supported by between 1 and 4 columns in antis (between the antas).
The second is where a temple terminates with a porch, open at the front but also at the sides. The temple is referred to as ‘prostyle’, with freestanding columns across the entire portico. The different types of temple are referred to as:
- Amphiprostyle: Porticoes in front and back.
- Peripteral: Colonnade running all the way around.
- Dipteral: Double line of columns running all the way around.
Pediments were sometimes used to top porticos.
The terminology for porticos dependent on the number of columns they have is:
- Tetrastyle: 4 columns.
- Pentastyle: 5 columns.
- Hexastyle: 6 columns.
- Octastyle: 8 columns (e.g. the Parthenon and Pantheon).
- Decastyle: 10 columns (e.g. University College London).
The city with the most porticos is Bologna in northern Italy, where they are part of a UNESCO World Heritage site. Most of the city’s porticos were constructed from timber until a city ordinance in 1567 decreed that ‘wooden pillars be replaced by brick or stone’.
Bologna also boasts the world’s longest portico, stretching approximately 2 miles (3.5 km) from the edge of the city to the Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca. With 666 arches it represents civic mindedness, built by contributions from Bologna’s citizens.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
The IHBC seeks to raise awareness and understanding of how building conservation philosophy and practice contributes towards meeting the challenge of climate change.
From Amenity Societies and Wentworth Woodhouse to Kurt Schwitters, Scotland’s Towns, Chester and more...
The former Royal High School building in Edinburgh is to be transformed into a £55 million national centre for music after the City of Edinburgh Council agreed to the lease of the historic property.
The joint-institute document aims to help maintain cultural heritage by providing a consistent framework across different sectors & geographies
IHBC’s Gus Astley Student Awards 2021: Win £500 and a place on IHBC’s 2022 Aberdeen School with your built environment/heritage coursework, closes 31/07!
The last remaining buildings on the site of the Harris meat factory family’s historic mansion are being restored to their former glory and converted into new homes.
The Construction Industry Coronavirus Forum (CICV Forum) has unveiled a new guide to the crucial and increasingly complex issue of professional indemnity insurance (PII).
ICOMOS has advised that the new football stadium proposal, if implemented, would have a completely unacceptable major adverse impact its authenticity and integrity.
Responding to the changing working patterns of a post-Covid Scotland, the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) has revealed new plans to help retrofit public spaces into out-of-town alternatives to city centre offices.
The free-to-access online issue mixes the topical and practical to explore how the sector can best adapt to digital innovation.