Keret House: The World’s Thinnest House [Gallery]

A new art project and residential prototype opened for visitors in Warsaw.

  • Photo: kerethouse.comPhoto:
  • Photo: kerethouse.comPhoto:
  • Photo: kerethouse.comPhoto:
  • Photo: kerethouse.comPhoto:
  • Photo: kerethouse.comPhoto:
  • Photo: kerethouse.comPhoto:
  • Photo: kerethouse.comPhoto:

Polish architect Jakub Szczesny assures that he has designed and built the narrowest house in the world with just 122 centimetres across at its widest point.

The superthin building is situated between two buildings in the urban landscape of the modern capital of Poland.

“We deeply believe it will become a symbol of modern Warsaw ingrained in its complicated history. The House attracts attention of media from entire world. He hope it will show the most fascinating side of Warsaw”, said Sarmen Beglarian and Sylwia Szymaniak form Polish Modern Art Foundation, the curators of the project.

By the way, Keret House occupies space between two buildings from two historical epochs.

“The first is a brick building on Zelazna Street – a fragment of the pre-world war II city, almost no longer existing. The second – a cooperative concrete apartment building, an element of an “imposed structure”, which was aimed at negating the previous city landscape. Their adjacency is coincidental – like many architectural structures in Warsaw,” explained Jakub Szczesny.

“Keret House is a perfect example of the so-called “non-matching” in the city’s urban fabric. Another reason is the city’s war history – where the house is located, two ghettos – the large ghetto and the small ghetto met. Only a few steps from the house, a bridge connecting the two closed spaces, stood.”

Szczesny’s art project provides 150 square feet of living space to anyone who promises to only stretch one way, reports Fast Company Design.

“It started with the space,” Szczesny explained how he came across the site when walking home one day.

“I started to think who could live there. It had to be a person that would like to be a hermit, someone who would like to spend time alone doing something, but doing what?”

The designer, who is one of the co-founders of arts group Centrala, invited Israeli writer Etgar Keret to join the project and the duo started developing a triangular house with a small space that would be enough for a single inhabitant to live and work.

“It requires a sense of humour, as you cannot stay long in a place like this,” joked Szczesny.

The head of the project went on, claiming that the extra-thin living quarters has all the basics a tenant could need.

“It contains all necessary amenities such as a micro-kitchen, mini-bathroom, sleeping cubicle and tiny work area, all accessible via ladders,” he said. “I think plenty of light is most important in order to eliminate the fear of the small space.”

Now the claustrophobic appartments look like an industrial aesthetic building, resembling a Tetris block more than a carefully rounded suppository.The Keret House is sharp down to its frame, a series of metal triangles that form a two-story lattice hovering 10 feet off the ground, writes Fast Company Design.

“It’s a rather ‘minimal existence unit,’ but I’ve done my best to fight for centimeters in table, seating, kitchenette, and corridor widths,” Szczęsny told reporters. “For sure some people might feel claustrophobic, but there’s actually a lot of vertical space.”

Etgar Keret will be the first person to live in the unusual appartments. He’s a fitting namesake for the building, too, as Keret is known for writing short stories that are particularly short.

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