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Archway in Neumarkt ( South Tyrol )

The term portico describes the architecture of various forms of indexing and corridors and even in the garden architecture used.

Arcades in architecture usually extend along several usage units and are primarily used for development . A formally similar component is the loggia , which, however, is usually in front of a single usage unit, is separated on the sides and serves as a residence.

Word origin

The term arbor is derived from a place in the open air, which is surrounded by leafy trellises made of wood or metal overgrown with leaf-bearing plants (e.g. wild grapevine , hazel bush). An arbor is therefore often a niche (or space) protected by the foliage and providing shade, which is suitable as a quiet seat or as a place for a group of seats. This place is particularly appreciated during the hot season, e.g. B. for taking meals. An arcade is a path with comparable features.

In this sense, the term is no longer used very often, but is still used occasionally (more on this in the garden architecture section ). For example, there is such a portico in the Jewish Museum Berlin .

Archway on the ground floor

See also: Archway (architecture)

Traditionally, the term arcade describes an open arcade on buildings. The term arcade is also used synonymously. As an urban planning element, it often includes the ground floor level of entire streets or squares, creating a weather-protected public traffic area.

Open access to the upper floors

Arcade house with stair tower in Neumünster am Steinkamp, ​​Kocksiedlung, 1952
Arcade house, schematic representation (black: staircases, gray: arcades)

In the case of apartment houses or residential buildings , the arcade is an external access to the residential units above the ground floor. In a more general term, this part is also known as a gallery . Like the corridor , the arcade is a horizontal access element in combination with a vertical , often also external access, for example a stair tower.

Mostly arcades are placed on the north side of a building in order to avoid shading and noise pollution of the living rooms on the sunlit south side. The narrow construction, which is open on both sides, enables good cross ventilation of the apartments. Most of the arcades are on the long side of the building, usually the eaves side. Some arcades are then continued on the gable, or in special cases are placed directly on the gable. These variants are then also referred to as gable arbors .

An early example of this type of construction are the arcade houses by the architect Paul AR Frank , for example the Heidhörn arcade house in Hamburg 1926–27. In the Dulsberger settlement, consisting of six arcade houses (built between 1927 and 1931), two arcades face each other on their east and west sides. This and the shared green spaces with contemporary sculptures in between were intended to promote a sense of community and community .

In 1929–30, Hannes Meyer and the Bauhaus construction department built five arcade houses in the Törten estate in Dessau , three on Peterholzstrasse and two on Mittelbreite . → Portico houses Dessau-Törten

Arcade houses also played a role in the construction of the New Frankfurt . In the third construction phase of the Praunheim estate, built between 1926 and 1929, 235 small apartments were built as arcade houses along what is now Ludwig-Landmann-Straße. Another 32, planned by the architect Anton Brenner , were built on Am Ebelfeld. In the Westhausen housing estate , nine four-story arcade houses were built in 1929/30, designed by architects Eugen Blanck and Ferdinand Kramer .

In the 1950s, the arcade house, a typical construction of this time, was developed into a frequently occurring construction. The background was the minimization of the access area in order to connect as many (often small) apartments as possible to just one stairwell. In addition, construction costs were saved because the arcade, as an external traffic area, was not enclosed with external walls.

Another advantage of this form of access is that the open corridor enables windows to the first escape route (= arcade), as smoke is guaranteed from this open corridor.

If the arcade has the quality of stay, it is also counted as an outdoor seating area.


The Pawlatsche is a special arcade from the regional Bohemian-Austrian building tradition that occurs in parts of Austria. The term Pawlatsche comes from the Czech language and was adopted into Austrian German and describes the surrounding arcades that open up the building via the inner courtyard.


  • Examples of pawlapping

Arcades in garden architecture

Arcade in the park of Seehof Castle

In garden architecture, the term arcade or treillage is used to describe a path that is limited to the side, but above all covered by plants. Boxwood or hornbeam hedges often line the path, along which climbing plants such as climbing roses or clematis entwine on arches made of wood or wrought iron . Treile sites were a popular means of creating high vegetal elements in newly laid out gardens within a short time. A prominent example of such an arcade in contemporary garden architecture can be found in the Jewish Museum Berlin . In literature, the planted arcade is the epitome of romanticism . A pergola (from the Italian) is a special form of arbor or arcade, with an open (usually) wooden structure with climbing plants on pillars or columns.


  • Peter Ebner, Technical University of Munich; Supreme building authority in the Bavarian State Ministry of the Interior, Housing and Urban Development Department: Living Streets - arcades. Research report on the follow-up examination of selected residential complexes with access to arcades; Munich 2006.
  • Gert-Rainer Grube, Aribert Kutschmar: Structures from the Romanesque to the present . Verlag für Bauwesen, Berlin 1986, ISBN 3-345-00422-4 .
  • Wilfried Koch: Architectural Style - European Architecture from Antiquity to the Present . Orbis, Munich 1988, ISBN 3-572-05927-5 .
  • Hans Koepf : Architecture in five millennia . Kohlhammer, Stuttgart a. a. 1980, ISBN 3-17-005710-3 .
  • Werner Müller, Günter Vogel: dtv atlas on architecture. Volume 1, dtv, Munich 1987, ISBN 3-423-03020-8 .
  • DW Dreysse: May settlements. Architectural guide through eight new Frankfurt housing estates 1926-1930. Fricke Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1987, ISBN 3-88184-092-3

Web links

Commons : Arcades (balconies)  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Commons : Arcades  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Laubengang  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations