Villa René Lalique is a homage to the exceptional work of the craftsmen at Lalique factory and to the century-old heritage bequeathed to them by the visionary artist, René Lalique. It is conceived as a showcase for lifestyle and savoir-faire, the Lalique way.
To appreciate the history of Villa René Lalique, it is necessary first to understand who René Lalique was, and what he brought to the iconic Maison he founded…
René-Jules Lalique, the creator of this timeless brand, was a visionary artist, born in 1860 in Ay, a hamlet in the Marne region of France. From his early youth, he took an interest in art and design. His philosophy: “Better to seek beauty than flaunt luxury.”
By 1890, René Lalique had gained recognition as a leading protagonist of the French Art Nouveau movement in jewellery design. A member of the avant-garde, he used the most elaborate techniques to produce original and imaginative creations. These pleased the academic and artistic elite, who challenged convention.
The Paris Exposition Universelle of 1900 marked the peak of Lalique’s career as a jeweller. This was the moment when he decided to move into the glassmaking industry. Already a master of Art Nouveau jewellery, in 1920 René Lalique became the master of Art Deco glassmaking. In 1921 he built the glassworks at Wingen-sur-Moder, Alsace, not far from the site where he commissioned the construction of the Villa, one year before, to serve as his main residence during his stays in Alsace.
Following the death of René in 1945, his son Marc took the helm of the business. He moved out of glassware once and for all, to concentrate on crystal. Marc Lalique was the driving force behind Lalique as a manufacturer of crystal, soon to rank among the great crystal producers of France and beyond. Continuing the work of her father and grandfather, Marc’s daughter, Marie-Claude Lalique, also proved capable of adapting to the whims of fashion and reinventing herself. She served as Creative Director of Lalique until 1996, creating a range of bright, diverse crystal colours. Under her direction, Lalique returned to perfumery. The dedicated ‘Lalique Perfumes’ range, launched in 1992, owed much to her grandfather’s heritage.
Under the direction of Silvio Denz, Chairman and CEO of Lalique since 2008, the Villa built by René Lalique in 1920 has reinvented itself.
Member of the prestigious collection Relais & Châteaux since 2016, the Villa is now the sumptuous setting of an ultra-sophisticated five-star hotel and gourmet restaurant, awarded 2 Michelin stars just a few months after its opening.
Steeped in history, the Villa was home to the founder and his family during their stays in Alsace. After René Lalique’s death in 1945, his son Marc and granddaughter Marie-Claude, continued to stay there on a regular basis. Silvio Denz, keen to breathe new life into the house, commissioned interior designers Lady Tina Green and Pietro Mingarelli to carry out the refurbishment. They are the designers of the ‘Lalique Maison‘ Art-Deco-inspired furniture and decorative accessories collection, created in 2011 and inspired by original René Lalique motifs. In accordance with Silvio Denz’s wishes, they have preserved the atmosphere and authenticity of the family home. With this requirement in mind, the exterior has been restored exactly as it once appeared, complete with blue shutters, faithfully reproducing the look of the original building. While retaining the original structure, the designers have imagined six suites that evoke the genius of René Lalique, down to the last detail. All different, they each bear the name of an emblematic René Lalique creation that harks back to a decade in the life of the master glassmaker. The exception is the ‘Zeila’ suite, named after Marie-Claude Lalique’s famous panther.
Mario Botta, the Swiss architect of international renown, who lives in Mendrisio in the Canton of Ticino, was commissioned to design the restaurant and cellar. He has won more than 50 prizes and awards for his architecture that reflect his ethical concerns. It is important to Botta that a building should fit its surroundings perfectly, both visually and from the environmental viewpoint. Having this aim in mind, he designed the restaurant at Villa René Lalique with its pillars in Vosges sandstone, its big bay windows looking over the natural setting and its plant-covered roof.
A homage to the century-old heritage bequeathed by the visionary artist, René Lalique, and a heartfelt tribute to the French Art de Vivre, Villa René Lalique is conceived as a showcase for lifestyle and savoir-faire, the Lalique way.
Lalique: the very name is the stuff of legend. Lalique: symbol of light and transparency, sparkling crystal, elegantly designed jewellery, artistic tableware and precious perfume bottles…
Founded in 1888, Lalique today is one of the leading lights of French crystal production. Founder of the Maison and creative genius René Lalique was first known as the inventor of modern jewellery before becoming a master of glassmaking. Over time, the Lalique name has become a powerful symbol of savoir-faire, synonymous with luxury, excellence, creativity, and an instantly recognizable style. Today, the Lalique brand is reinventing the creative and eclectic universe of René Lalique through contemporary creations in five fields: decorative objects, interior design, jewellery, fragrances and art. Lalique partners with other luxury goods brands, as well as leading artists and designers to create fresh, out-of-the-ordinary pieces that benefit from each partner’s expertise. For nearly a century, all Lalique crystal pieces have been made in France, at its factory in Alsace that was built in 1921.
Lalique is making its mark as a truly timeless brand of luxury and Art de Vivre.