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Keret House: A look inside the world's narrowest abode

Three years in the making, Keret House is now open. Lodged in a crack between two buildings in Warsaw, Poland, the structure for artists measures just 4 feet at its widest point.

Leslie Katz Former Culture Editor
Leslie Katz led a team that explored the intersection of tech and culture, plus all manner of awe-inspiring science, from space to AI and archaeology. When she's not smithing words, she's probably playing online word games, tending to her garden or referring to herself in the third person.
  • Third place film critic, 2021 LA Press Club National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards
Leslie Katz
2 min read
Israeli author Etgar Keret makes himself at home in Keret House, which measures 47 inches at its widest point. Dom Kereta/Facebook

Some readers experienced a bit of claustrophobia a couple of months back upon reading that construction had started on what may be the world's narrowest house. If you're one of them, you might want to hold your breath. Construction on Keret House is complete, and we're going inside.

The dwelling -- located in a passageway in Warsaw, Poland's Wola district -- measures 4 feet at its widest point and 27 inches at its narrowest. The exterior looks like a 30-foot-tall rectangle lodged between two buildings, but amazingly, inhabitants will find all the amenities inside.

Polish architect Jakub Szczesny of Centrala, an experimental-architecture collective, conceived of the abode for acclaimed Israeli writer Etgar Keret, whose Polish mother survived the Holocaust but lost close family members during the war. He will live and work in the space for part of the year.

Szczesny says he was drawn to the narrow space between a prewar apartment building and a postwar co-op because of the span of history the crevice represents. "I fell in love with a space between two buildings from different periods. I decided to make a link," The New York Times quoted Szczesny as saying.

Keret's best known for his short stories. When he's not using the Warsaw home as a temporary workspace, artists and intellectuals from around the world will be invited to stay at at 22 Chlodna Street for days and weeks at a time.

About three years in the making, Keret House opened late last month. Photos of the interior reveal a surprisingly airy space, though residents will definitely want to pick their clothes up off the floor if they want room to maneuver. Click through our gallery for a peek inside the unusually slim structure.

Inside the super-narrow Keret House (pictures)

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