dutch designer piet hein eek has partnered with ruinart champagne, applying his ingenuity for recycled wood for more than twenty years--creating sustainable furniture designs, accessories, and lights--by developing a series of limited edition, handcrafted packaging for the french brand using his trademark material. the champagne company's decision to move from using baskets to wooden boxes to ship its product in the late 18th century marks its high-regard for the medium, in which eek has designed custom boxes constructed from pale gray, white, and cream pine wood to parallel the pigments in ruinart's blanc de blancs; its geometric shape specifically contoured around the form of the bottle. making its debut at the CHICAGO EXPO, eek lightly sands each finished piece to guarantee softness, covering it with a veil of fine lacquer, and finally hand assembling the wooden panels into the shape of the champagne case.
additionally, the work displayed at the CHICAGO EXPO this september will include two larger compositions—wooden modules each filled with 72 ruinart blanc de blancs bottles that honor the original wooden crate used by the company. a lighting system hidden within the module will illuminate the golden color of the champagne in the bottles.