April 1, 2017 / Photographed by Andrew Vanasse
In January 2017, Design Within Reach’s largest North American showroom opened in Portland’s Pearl District, set in a sprawling former warehouse a few blocks from its previous location. The space was designed by architect Laith Sayigh, founder of the New York–based firm DFA, who’s shaped every one of DWR’s new shops since 2013: 24 in all. Though the Portland space shares elements common to all DWRs—rainbow-hued swatch walls, carefully detailed room vignettes—it has evolved the retail language with a curving, oval-shaped “dining test lab” where shoppers can get handsy with chair options and a slatted wooden “elevated house” installation, co-designed and fabricated by Portland’s Fieldwork Design and Architecture.
In conceiving the showroom’s fine detailing, “I wanted to do something that would meet the level of work being done in Portland today,” says Sayigh. “There’s something so lovely about the Pacific Northwest: the pace of life is such that designers can really take the time to get it right. That comes across in the work: it’s well metered and beautifully executed.”
A version of this story appeared in GRAY issue no. 33.