Corey Gaffer

In Okoboji, Iowa, the gleaming lake view is the centerpiece for the Lakeshore House’s grand living spaces and terrace. A rare glimpse of the lake is also seen from the street side’s forecourt. Perfectly oriented among bur oak trees, the contemporary 7,800-square-foot home, designed by Substance Architecture, features a single-sloped roof, clean lines, and spacious indoor and outdoor areas.

The project application reads, “The home employs a straightforward organizational strategy consisting of two Accoya wood-clad parallel bars framing a glazed communal space.”

Corey Gaffer

Located in the one-story bar to the south is the private master suite with a framed view of the lake—its doorway hidden by vertical, floor-to-ceiling wood cladding in the communal area. The north, two-story bar is elongated to accommodate the kitchen, dining, and laundry on the main level with three bedrooms and bathrooms, laundry, and an entertaining area on the upper level. Exterior features include a second-floor deck, a garage, and a boat dock with storage.

Connecting each space to nature, a paired series of floor-to-ceiling windows segment the northern wing, allowing light to pour in on one side while offering views of the forecourt on the other. “It’s interesting and playful,” one juror says. “It’s pretty powerful to get all the volume inside; such a beautiful gesture.”

Despite the large scale of each space, the reductive material palette of stone, wood, and glass brings warmth and earthiness to the home, keeping it inviting and intimate.