Lakeshore House

Okoboji, Iowa
7,795 SF

Robert and Jane Sturgeon

Project Team
Todd Garner

Lakeshore House – Substance Architecture
Lakeshore House – Substance Architecture

Lakeshore House

The clients for this 7,800 square foot lakefront property in northeastern Iowa envisioned a spacious year-round residence that could comfortably accommodate their expanding multi-generational family and host gatherings where a connection to the lake and the landscape is ever-present. The home was carefully sited amongst a grouping of old-growth Bur Oak trees and arranged to preserve open space and capture a rare view of the lake from the street.

The living spaces are organized in a straightforward yet elegant way, with two separate Accoya wood-clad volumes connected by a transparent communal zone. Unified under a singular sloped roof, the design ingeniously sequences large indoor and outdoor spaces focused on providing unobstructed vistas of Lake Okoboji while providing flexibility and privacy.

The single-story volume to the south houses the private primary suite with its own lake view and terrace access, while the elongated two-story mass to the north accommodates service spaces and guest areas. A simple palette of wood, glass, and stone ensures that these grand spaces remain warm, intimate, and perpetually inviting, perfectly echoing the natural context they inhabit. Radiant floors and indoor-outdoor fireplaces ensure the house is as comfortable in the winter as it is in the summer.

Lakeshore House was about more than building a home. The owners wanted a sanctuary—each room blending seamlessly within the house and site. A respite versus a museum.

Lakeshore House – Substance Architecture

Floor plan - level one

Lakeshore House – Substance Architecture

Floor plan - level two

Lakeshore House – Substance Architecture

Site section 


Structural Engineer
Landscape Architect
Genus Landscape Architects
Interior Designer
Twetten’s Interior Design
General Contractor
Bates Construction


2022 Builder's Choice Design Awards
2022 Excellence in Design - Contemporary Architecture
2nd Annual dsm Home Design Awards


September 2022 BUILDER
January/February 2022 dsm
2022 IA
Summer 2021 Iowa Architect
Spring 2018 Iowa Architect

Photography by Corey Gaffer