Case Study  /  18

Architectural Showcase

Gulf-front Grandeur

Private Residence / Alys Beach, Florida

Architect: Khoury & Vogt Architects
Builder: Hufham Farris Construction

E. F. San Juan provided this one-of-a-kind project with custom white oak interior
boxed beams, stair parts, interior trim and paneling, ipe shutters, gates, the fascia
and soffit, custom handrails, newels, and Loewen® windows and LiftSlide Doors.

This was the homeowners’ third residence in the area for which we supplied products, and it was indeed a unique challenge. The client wanted as much of the exterior as possible to be weathered wood. This included the shutters, gates, fascia, soffit, handrails, balcony newels, massive columns, and arched openings mentioned above. The home’s Gulf-front location makes rot and weather damage genuine threats. Knowing that this home was to be built to last through the ages, we needed to select a wood species that was up for the task. It needed to not only look beautiful but also stand up to those elements over time.


The E. F. San Juan team and the talented architects at KVA settled upon ipe (pronounced “eepay”) for this project. It is one of the only woods that will sink when placed in water (you would not want to make a boat out of ipe!). This species is also commonly known as ironwood because it is so dense, making it virtually rot-resistant, and therefore an excellent choice for the substantial pieces of millwork needed for this project.


However, ipe comes with its own challenges; its weight and density make it difficult to put through machines and glue. These factors also come into play for hinging when using ipe for a gate or door, which we did here. We used innovative joining methods to ensure that the gates and shutters had secondary and tertiary means of support with regard to the joinery. We believe the results speak for themselves!


Photograph by: Layne Lillie, courtesy of Khoury & Vogt Architects

Explore our full collection of E. F. San Juan Architectural Case Studies and see our uncompromising commitment to excellence in custom millwork, the use of our premium window and door products and more in several uniquely custom architectural masterpieces by many respected architects and builders.