A sliver of a house was completed in late October in the unlikeliest of locations, a leftover space between two buildings in the once Jewish ghetto of downtown Warsaw. At slightly under four feet across at its widest point—and a mere 28 inches at its narrowest—the Keret House, envisioned by Polish architect Jakub Szczensy of Centrala, stands firmly among the world’s slimmest buildings. The unconventional house was commissioned by Israeli writer Etgar Keret, whose mother survived Nazi occupied Warsaw on the very street of the Keret House.
The concept was first presented at the WolaArt festival in 2009 and met logistic and bureaucratic hurdles. Also challenging was finding a Polish construction company both interested and able to take on the difficult project leading Szczensy to seek international help to complete the house, using a crane shipped over from Germany to install the frame.
The end product is a two story, triangular steel framed house that sits ten feet off the ground and has a surprisingly open feel thanks to white walls and a plastic roof that allows plenty of light to pass through. From the street the house almost resembles the spine of a book lodged between the two buildings. Entry into the house is gained via a trap door that folds up to form the living room floor. The aparatus resembles a portal into a space ship.
The bathroom, which is off the kitchen, is a water closet with an attached showerhead. A ladder leads from the living room/kitchenette (complete with a sink, stove, miniature fridge and cabinets) to the lofted bedroom/workspace. Colorful furniture adds character to an otherwise bare space. Take a look at the interior spaces below: