Beach House is a film about a unique example of rural modernism, built on the UK coast of Suffolk by architect John Penn. Penn was an architect, painter, musician and poet whose nine houses in East Suffolk are all built with uncompromising symmetry adhering to the points of the compass in their positioning in the landscape they use a limited language of materials and form that were influenced by his time spent working in California with Richard Neutra. They are Californian modernist pavilions in the Suffolk landscape.
Beach House is John Penn’s most uncompromising design in terms of idea as form. The film combines an archive film made by Penn himself on completion of the house with experimental sound recordings made during the same period and material recently filmed in the house to explore a convergence of filmic and architectural language and allow the viewer to piece together Beach House in its past and present forms.
Producer/Director /Camera: Emily Richardson
Sound recordings: John Penn
Thanks to the John Penn Estate, Bruce and Anne Page and Cedric Green
Made with the generous support of Arts Council England and The Arts & Humanities Research Council at the Royal College of Art, London