Tucked inside the production hall of Cristal Saint-Louis, France’s oldest crystal maker, the museum called La Grande Place straddles a five metre deep hole. The architects Florence Lipsky and Pascal Rollet discovered the pit, an old oven, under a tarpaulin and immediately agreed that was where the museum should go.
Around its perimeter they built a free-standing box of Douglas fir wrapped in rippled polycarbonate, with a ramp that slopes upward past shelves showing pieces from the house’s illustrious history. Chandeliers are suspended over the hole, while two platforms give views onto the factory floor and the glassblowers working below.