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World’s Slimmest House – The Keret House, Poland

It is expensive to find a place to live in the city, no matter which city you are talking about. And the Polish capital of Warsaw is no exception to this. Warsaw is famous for its beautiful architecture, bustling city centre and the fact that it is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city is home to over 3 million people and this causes a problem when it comes to finding your own spot in the city.

So, with property prices at a premium, how do you counter this? Building small is one thing, but building slim is quite something else altogether. Architects that have little space to play with need to come up with some innovative solutions. That is just what Jakub Szczesny did with a home that is only five feet wide at the largest point. Forget having all the space in the world to play with. Real architects deliver when they have their backs to the wall!

Dealing with claustrophobia

Of course, this might be small enough to give all us a dose of claustrophobia, but that doesn’t mean that they have scrimped on all the amenities that are needed in every home. The world’s thinnest house, in Warsaw Poland still has all the rooms you would want, including –

  • A fully fitted micro kitchen
  • A mini bathroom with shower facilities
  • A separate sleeping cubicle
  • In addition – a work area

They talk about crash pads in the city, and this might be the ultimate one around. But this isn’t just a feat of squeezing as much as possible into a small space. The architect has carefully thought about how people might live in such a confined area. The use of light has been cleverly incorporated in each aspect of the building to ensure that people have that vital connection with the outside space and don’t feel like they are living in a box.

A new development

There is clearly not enough new living space being built in city centres, especially global capital like Warsaw. The fact that office and retail space often bring in greater revenue per square foot, means that living accommodation falls behind when builders consider how to make the most money from a project. So, looking at innovative ways of making the most of space that just couldn’t be used for retail or office space will help cities like Warsaw face up to these challenges.

Opened in 2012, the world’s thinnest home is now a big of a tourist attraction in the centre of Warsaw. Let’s take a guess that there wasn’t much of a ‘moving in’ party with this home! The first tenant was Etgar Keret. It is symbolic because Keret’s family died during the Nazi occupation of Warsaw. In fact, the property is now known as Keret House in honour of the first occupant and his family.

The home occupies a space between a modern apartment block and an older property that has been standing since before the Second World War. It is rented out, and can be accessed from the rear, before any tenant gets from floor to floor, room to room by metal ladders built especially for the purpose.

The house in 2017

The Keret House has become a bit of an icon in architecture and across Poland. It is seen as a symbol of the Polish ingenuity and durability. The house is converted into a kind of small art gallery a few times per year, where people can visit, see the basis of the original concept and dwelling, as well as see new art installations.

Buildings morph from one use to another over time. The building as a home is still in place, but groups of up to 4 people can come in and take a look at how the Keret House occupies this tiny space with style and elegance. To plan to make use of this tiny space must have been like a brainwave to the architect and the builders that followed his designs. Using only 92 centimetres at the thinnest part of the thinnest house in the world might seem like madness to the likes of you and I. But Jakub Szczesny looked at how he could make it work, rather than all the problems he might face. To the passer by, it looks nondescript. It looks like it might be a façade between two buildings. But we know better!

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