German-born maker, Kris Ruhs is impossible to categorise, but has firmly established himself as one of the most idiosyncratic designers working in Europe. The Wapping Project brings Ruhs and his craft to the capital to coincide with the London Design Festival from 13 September, where he will occupy the Boiler House, surrounded by films of his wonderful Milanese workshops, hopefully allowing him to feel at home.
Based in Milan, Ruhs moves regularly between Marrakesh, Seoul and Milan. His work has found expression in the construction of internationally renowned 10 Corso Como (founded by gallerist and publisher Carla Sozzani)- an art gallery, design depot, bookshop, publishing house, boutique hotel, eatery and hangout for the elite who traipse through Italy’s fashion and design centre. This cool-hunting zone is an island in the middle of the once forgotten district of Milan which Ruhs has single-handedly turned into a Mecca of style and exquisite taste – a must-visit destination, caught between the elaborate Alhambra in Granada and a secret riad in the heart of Damascus.
Ruhs is a ‘magpie-maker’. Starting work in his studio from 7am each morning until 10pm each night, seven days a week, everything you see at 10 Corso Como comes from this apparently chaotic, maddening, cat filled studio – ranging from the cups, the porcelain, the gates, the roof, the ceiling to the carpets, the napkins, the menus, the lamps, the jewellery, the fabrics, the pots, the screens and the flowers. These never-ending adventures in product-making are most fully realised in the dining room which glimmers with indirect light, reflecting the one thousand glass floor tiles in the mirrored ceiling of molten glass tiles, each one decorated with an individual icon.
Commissioned by Samsung to create a work of equal impact in Seoul, Kris Ruhs together with Carla Sozzani has made two new buildings in the city, one in collaboration with Comme DES Garcons, and another is planned for Shanghai.