A Couple Pining for Their Woodsy Upbringings Experiment With a Retreat in the Pacific Northwest

This barnlike workshop with a studio suite is just phase one of their vision for a creative compound outside Portland.

Jai Kumaran and Lindsay Merkle wanted to go home. Not to the redwoods of California’s Santa Cruz Mountains, where Jai, cofounder and partner at the architecture firm West of West, grew up, or back to the pines of Mercer Island in Washington State, where Lindsay, who works at a telemedicine start-up, spent her childhood, but to a setting that felt just as familiar as the places where they were reared. So after moving from Los Angeles to Portland, Oregon, in 2016, they began a search for land outside the city where Jai could experiment with design ideas and where they could make a creative compound for themselves, their two vizsla dogs, and visiting friends and family.

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Lauren Gallow
Dwell Contributor
Lauren Gallow is a Seattle-based design writer and editor. Formerly an in-house writer for Olson Kundig, she holds an MA in Art & Architectural History from UCSB.


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