Beach House takes as its subject a unique example of rural modernist housing built on the Suffolk coast in Britain by the architect John Penn. As well as an architect, Penn was a keen painter, sculptor, jazz musician and poet. Beach House – Penn's own home – is one of nine houses he built across east Suffolk between 1962 and 1971, each of which features designs of uncompromising symmetry, adhering to the points of the compass in their positioning in the landscape. Beach House is by far Penn’s most uncompromising design. Using a limited language of materials and form, they were deeply influenced by the time Penn spent working in California with Richard Neutra, and might be regarded as Californian modernist pavilions in the vernacular Suffolk landscape.
The film Beach House combines archival 16mm film shot by Penn himself on completion of the house alongside his experimental sound recordings made during the same period and material shot in the house over the duration of a year in 2015 to explore a convergence of filmic and architectural language. Together, the material is a compelling invitation to the viewer to piece together Beach House in its past and present forms.