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Holding Court

A Windsor home combines courtyard privacy with gracious hospitality.

No doubt some local fishermen snickered when they saw a recent ad that pictured John Huryn, President of AAC Builders, hoisting aloft an impressive tarpon with a caption reading, “I’d rather be building your house.” But, as a matter of fact, Huryn really would rather be building. Not too long ago, a prospective client took John at his word and asked him to build a home in Windsor. Having already built 24 houses in that community, six of them for repeat clients, John was only too eager to set aside his tackle and pick up a hammer. No doubt at least one tarpon bubbled a sigh of relief.

Recommendations from friends and local architects Mark Vigneault and Thomas Hoos had led the client to AAC Builders. A collaborative building venture ensued involving the client and his family, John’s capable crew, the talented architects, well-known landscape architects Sanchez & Maddox and Memphis interior designer Chip Cain.

An important design consideration for the architects was the absence of a view, which frequently dictates the plan and orientation of house vis-à-vis its site. Windsor’s town planning is in part based on the “zero lot line” concept that necessitates, as it did in this case, building in close quarters; other structures are either immediately adjacent or in close proximity, posing certain construction headaches.  Local building codes dictate 140 m.p.h. wind-load ratings for doors and windows, along with other regulations that buttress structural reliability. Particular to this house was the tough challenge of engineering the roof’s expansive six-foot overhang absent of awkward structural components that would conflict with its graceful style.

Read the entire article in the Summer 2005 issue