Wingen-sur-Moder is a small town between Strasbourg and Sarreguemines in Alsace, which was the site of the Hochberg glassworks between 1715 and 1868. Glass-making was revitalised in the twentieth century by René Lalique (1860-1945), who was born in the Champagne region and apprenticed in Paris, subsequently spending two years in England. His displays at the Paris Exhibition of 1900 were triumphantly successful. He influenced and was influenced by the Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements and has been described as ‘the inventor of modern jewellery’.
He became a freelance designer and a meeting in 1907 with the perfumer François Coty (1874-1934) stimulated his interest in glass making, and in 1913 he purchased a glassworks at Combe-la-Ville. From 1921 he built a new factory at Wingen-sur-Moder, on site of earlier Hochberg glassworks, and in an area where there were already many skilled glass makers. His son Marc Lalique (1900-77) developed the manufacture of crystal, and the factory remains in production, although it is now owned by the Swiss group Arts et Fragrances.
The spectacular museum building designed by Wilmotte et Associeés, opened in 2011 and incorporates some remains of the Hochberg works that were uncovered in 2007. The building is partially buried, and its interiors merge gently into its Japanese style gardens.