Better known among the superyacht community for its ‘ipi’ concepts, the New York-based design studio Impossible Productions Ink (IPI), has unveiled a rather unique land-based project in France.

The Frank Stella Chapelle is a 15m-wide pavilion that has taken its place among other ‘sculptures’ at the recently opened Venet Foundation, a newly opened outdoor exhibition space, set within artist, Bernar Venet’s Le Muy estate.

The Chapelle is a joint collaboration between IPI, Venet and Frank Stella and is a homage to the crossovers between art and architecture. In keeping with its creators’ area of expertise, the design of the pavilion is inspired by fluid dynamics and water vortexes and comprises a twisting carbon fibre roof structure with sailcloth infills.

The raised roof is supported by six identical modules with the positioning of the central element creating a negative downforce, which allows it to rest on the ‘floating’ concrete walls.

Speaking exclusively to SuperyachtDesign, Veronika Schmid, who co-founded IPI with Alistair Gill in 2009, says the project, which will house six of Stella’s pieces, is indicative of IPI’s origins. “Our history as yacht designers and architects very much influenced the design of the pavilion, not only in choice of materials, fabricators and construction techniques, but also in its actual design features and aesthetics”, she explained.

“With the design and shaping of the lightweight carbon fibre construction and sailcloth panels we tried to incorporate natural forces as integral elements into the design. As the carbon fibre structure is open and can be permeated by the wind it acts under downforce and prevents uplift of the roof, almost acting as a sail. The design also comes from fluid dynamics, in particular water vortexing.”

But far from being a permanent move ashore, the Chapelle is more of an architectural experiment, as well as a striking artistic collaboration. Schmid says the focus for IPI “absolutely” remains superyachts. Although she was bound by secrecy at the time of writing, she was able to reveal that the studio is currently working on three projects, including a new concept that will be presented to the industry soon, and a collaboration with a “prominent shipyard”.

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