House on Lake Okoboji

by Min | Day
House on Lake Okoboji Min | Day

It’s all about the lake,” was our clients’ direction when we began designing this vacation home in rural Iowa.
Located in rural Iowa, Lake Okoboji is a part of a glacial lake system surprisingly located amidst endless cornfields, 2.5 hours from the nearest metropolitan area.
The house sits on a diminutive lot on the dense shoreline where old cottages and new McMansions sit tightly together.
Our strategy resulted in a deceptively simple footprint that minimized the size of the house on the site while allowing for a series of spatial frames within the house that focus on the view while excluding the neighbors.
This allowed for a sense of total privacy within the house itself. Additionally, the lake itself is ringed by numerous oak trees which form beautiful a canopy around the lake, separating it from the corn fields.
Volumetrically simple from the exterior, opaque and slatted vertical Ipe clads a stacked set of spatial tubes (the primary living spaces) that are open to the lake and woods views, but visually closed to neighbors on the sides.
We formed the house’s spatial tubes around view axes running through the site, perceptually linking the lake through the forest to the fields beyond. These view-framing tubes are literal voids in the mass of the house bounded at their ends only by glass.
Light and air also enters these rooms through operable windows set behind the slatted Ipe cladding. Dense service spaces (“program solids”) fill the remaining volume.
The first level is dominated by continuous subtly amorphous space that opens to the exterior in with lake views in several directions. This space bounds the primary living spaces while suggesting connections and extensions to the surrounding landscape, lake and sky.
In contrast to the spatial tubes of the public areas, the smaller private spaces (bedrooms and bathrooms) are treated with a pronounced sense of interiority.
As spaces become increasingly intimate, the intensity of color increases as well. All interior surfaces in these rooms are subsumed by intense color to the extent that each feels like a zone of pure color.
Here color becomes equivalent to the Lake that dominates the spatial tubes, providing and autonomous interiority in contrast to the site-oriented “tubes”.
Color becomes an important tool of space making, an additional layer that can reinforce or contradict the other components of spatial geometry, intensifying the experience or adding complexity.
In addition to the house and site, we were also responsible for all furniture, fabrics and finishes in the house. We selected and supplied most of the furniture, designed window coverings and selected custom fabrics for many of the furniture selections.
We designed and fabricated several feature tables for the house, including a custom, CNC-milled cabinet for the master bedroom.

Sponsor

Sponsor

  • Schuler Villa

    Schuler Villa

    In the center of the village of Boudry, the project settles on a narrow plot, surrounded with collective housing, a church and an old mansion. In this motley context and its limite...

  • Summer House Piu

    Summer House Piu

    German architect Patrick Frey has designed this Summer House in collaboration with Björn Götte. According to the architect, the 750 square-foot two-bedroom wooden prefab cabin c...

  • Before/After: Sonoma Residence

    Before/After: Sonoma Resi..

    House for “Locavore” farmers
    Project and Client Description
    This agricultural property in Sonoma is the home of two scientists who are involved in a number of far...

  • BES Pavilion

    BES Pavilion

    BES pavilion is a service space for an open community, focusing on the aspects of art and culture. Located in the central Ha Tinh city, BES (Bamboo + Earth + Stone) is set up from ...

  • Elenko Residence

    Elenko Residence

    Located on the shores of Osoyoos Lake in British Columbia, Canada, this single-family residence was designed to suit the owner’s recreational lifestyle amid the natural setting o...

  • Neutral Bay House

    Neutral Bay House

    Neutral Bay House is a residential project completed by Downie North Architects in 2014. The home is located in Neutral Bay, Australia. Neutral Bay House by Downie Nor...

  • A Wurster Revival

    A Wurster Revival

    A Wurster Revival is a renovation project completed by Butler Armsden Architects, and it is located in Pacific Heights, San Francisco, California. The home was originally built in ...

  • Casa 115

    Casa 115

    In a unique location, overlooking the valley that frames the bay of Sant Vicenç, the project must solve the difficulty of the existing topography. The problems posed by the land a...

  • Seaside Cottages Scatter

    Seaside Cottages Scatter

    The Cedar shake clad exteriors and billowing American flags waving in the ocean breeze paint a picture of the quintessential New England retreat. Interiors are full of life and spi...

  • Villa Sapi

    Villa Sapi

    Description: Canadian architect David Lombardi’s concept of ‘Function over Form’ leaves Villa Sapi’s guests with a sense of discovery and surprise at every twist and turn, ...