/> ED I T O R S C H O I C E IN N O V A T IO N A W A R D
X

Inside the super-narrow Keret House (pictures)

Construction is now complete on a 4-foot-wide Warsaw, Poland, dwelling that will serve as a live/work space for writers and intellectuals. Take a tour of the tiny structure.

Leslie_Katz.jpg
Leslie Katz
completedhouse.jpg
1 of 11 Copyright Polish Modern Art Foundation/Bartek Warzecha

Keret House exterior

Construction is finally finished on Keret House, a structure several years in the making that's being called the narrowest house in the world. Located in a passageway between two buildings in Warsaw, Poland's Wola district, the two-story structure measures 4 feet at its widest point and 27 inches at its narrowest. Keret House looks like a 30-foot-tall rectangle lodged between buildings, but amazingly, it boasts all the amenities -- except, of course, for a king-size bed and 60-inch flat-panel TV.
viewfromabove.jpg
2 of 11 Copyright Polish Modern Art Foundation/Bartek Warzecha

View from above

Polish architect Jakub Szczesny of the experimental-architecture collective Centrala conceived of Keret House as a part-time abode for acclaimed Israeli writer Etgar Keret, the son of Holocaust survivors whose Polish mother was interned in the Warsaw Ghetto and lost close family members during the tragedy. Here, the view from the second floor of Keret House, looking down at the entrance steps, which go up and down at the press of a button and can be accessed via trap door. A regular sofa wouldn't fit in the living room, but a bean-bag couch does just fine.
lookingup.jpg
3 of 11 Copyright Polish Modern Art Foundation/Bartek Warzecha

Things are looking up

Author Etgar Keret traveled from his home in Tel Aviv, Israel, to Warsaw, Poland, for the opening of Keret House last month and spent a night in his eponymous home squeezed between buildings on Chlodna and Zelazna streets. When he's not living and working in the space, other artists from around the world will be invited to stay there for days and weeks at a time (fittingly, it's officially an "art installation" since it doesn't meet Polish building standards for homes.)
inside.jpg
4 of 11 Copyright Polish Modern Art Foundation/Bartek Warzecha

View from the stairs

Keret House might be exceedingly narrow, but at 30 feet tall at its apex, it does have high ceilings. A colorful coat hanger and bright yellow chair stand out amid the largely white design.
upthestairs.jpg
5 of 11 Dom Kereta

Climbing required

Writer Etgar Keret, who's best known for his short stories, practices ascending to the bedroom of Keret House via metal ladder. That's the only way to get there.
bedroom.jpg
6 of 11 Copyright Polish Modern Art Foundation/Bartek Warzecha

Sleeping a single

The bedroom in Keret House accommodates a nearly double-size bed and has a small work desk and chair. The structure's translucent polycarbonate facade finished with perforated steel, plus ample light from the windows, makes the whole place seem bigger.
bathroom.jpg
7 of 11 Copyright Polish Modern Art Foundation/Bartek Warzecha

Bathroom area

Yes, it's possible to shower at Keret House -- in a tiny washroom that resembles an airplane WC and is separated from the tiny kitchenette with a sliding door. The little roost relies on an independent, boat-inspired water and sewage system.
stairs.jpg
8 of 11 Copyright Polish Modern Art Foundation/Bartek Warzecha

Narrow entrance

Behind a metal door at 22 Chlodna Street in Warsaw, Poland, visitors to Keret House will find steps that provide access to the interior. Stilts raise the body of the house. Etgar Keret's mother, who spent part of World War II interned in the Warsaw Ghetto, immediately recognized the site of the house when her son first showed her a picture.
etgarsleeping.jpg
9 of 11 Copyright Polish Modern Art Foundation/Bartek Warzecha

Keret resting

On opening day at Keret House, writer Etgar Keret gets some shut-eye (or, more likely, pretends to) while a photographer captures the moment.
insidekerethouse.jpg
10 of 11 Centrala

Mockup

A mockup of the triangular Keret House before completion. "Everything seemed to stand on [sic] its way: the space narrowness, the infrastructure, law, and money," architect Jakub Szczesny says. But he persisted -- with assistance. Warsaw City Hall donated about $45,500 to Keret House, and organizations including the Polish Modern Art Foundation, National Centre for Culture, and Polish Institute in Tel Aviv partnered on it.
housemoved.jpg
11 of 11 Centrala

Frame being moved

The steel frame of the super-slim Keret House was assembled in steel-skeleton form in a workshop just outside of Warsaw, Poland, and transported to the site by crane. Polish architect Jakub Szczesny says he was drawn to the narrow space between a prewar apartment building and a postwar co-op because of the history it embodied.

"I fell in love with a space between two buildings from different periods," The New York Times quoted Szczesny as saying. "I decided to make a link."

More Galleries

The best games on Nintendo Switch

More Galleries

The best games on Nintendo Switch

41 Photos
Movies coming in 2021 and 2022 from Netflix, Marvel, HBO and more

More Galleries

Movies coming in 2021 and 2022 from Netflix, Marvel, HBO and more

67 Photos
2021 best new TV shows to watch, stream, obsess about

More Galleries

2021 best new TV shows to watch, stream, obsess about

65 Photos
The 51 best VR games

More Galleries

The 51 best VR games

53 Photos
Best dating apps of 2021

More Galleries

Best dating apps of 2021

13 Photos
2022 Bentley Bentayga S is sporty and serene

More Galleries

2022 Bentley Bentayga S is sporty and serene

40 Photos
The new Kia Niro crossover has a lot more style

More Galleries

The new Kia Niro crossover has a lot more style

8 Photos