David Heide

Design Studio

A red metal roof and cupola peeking over lush pine trees.

Otter Tail Hunting Lodge

Nestled within a 250-acre property, this hunting lodge serves as a family retreat for year-round outdoor recreation and indoor relaxation. Built on the foundation of a 1970s rambler, its design was inspired by vernacular buildings that would have once stood on these grounds. The simplicity and honesty of the design are evident in the way that window openings tell the story of the interior spaces rather than being organized into a regimented, symmetrical order and style.

Through the owner’s dedicated efforts, what was once farmland has been restored to its natural origin: prairie grasses, wildflowers, and thousands of newly-planted trees. Sustainability was a key part of the architectural program, with the use of many reclaimed materials. The lodge’s small footprint minimized the disruption to the site, and by limiting the exterior surface area, the building retains heat well during the colder months. The new home features geothermal heating and cooling, reclaimed and local materials, passive solar and ventilation techniques, and durable, low-maintenance exterior materials.

The vertical tan siding and brown trim harmonizes with the surrounding trees and prairie.
The two-story lodge's broken and varied rooflines add visual interest and add to its organic feel.
The arched entrance mimics the small half-circle window nestled in the peak of the roof.
Because form follows function in this building, each of it's sides has a very different geometry.
The entrance has a small porch with a chair, and a natural wood front door.
Inside the front door is a mudroom, with plenty of storage for outdoor gear.
The living room is all mostly giant bay window, with an angled ceiling. The contrasts of material add to both the natural feeling and the visual interest.
This lodge is a symphony of natural materials. Slate floors, brick chimney, stone fireplace, iron details, and everything else is, including the walls and ceiling, is light colored wood.
The kitchen uses the same simple cabinetry and millwork used throughout, as well as a slate backsplash and dark stone counters. The generous island has bar stools made of sticks.
The simplicity of the materials are off-set by some meticulous decorative details, such as the iron tree wall-art at the bottom of the stairs.
The stairs are very simple, yet offer more wildlife art in iron on the railing, in this case geese.
The exposed structural elements and open layout of this house offers interesting visuals where ever you look, such as into this second-floor game room (which doubles as a sleeping space).
The decor is an homage to hunting and the natural world, like this stuffed turkey taking flight over the top of the stairs.
One of the bunkrooms has two single beads with storage underneath; efficient yet cozy.
There are windows everywhere, some in quite unusual configurations, like this column of three that fill the wall of a narrow landing to the 2nd floor.
The lookout tower at the very top of the building has a wood burning stove and 360 degree panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
Even the property's deer stand coordinates with the main house, and stands amidst wild prairie.


Otter Tail County, MN


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