In 2012, the Polish architect Jakub Szczesny built what can be described as the “world’s narrowest house” for the Centrala architecture firm in Warsaw. Erected in the heart of the city’s old ghetto, this project involved literally inserting between two existing buildings a modern house, featuring the most rudimentary living conditions.
With a surface area only 12 square metres, this habitable module has a width ranging from 72 to 122 cm, but this tiny duplex has all the facilities necessary for everyday life: a bedroom, living room, kitchen and even a bathroom. Its interior is entirely painted white and the electricity comes from the neighbouring building. It can accommodate only a micro-refrigerator for two drinks and its occupants have to use a ladder to go from one level to the other.
Although the architect does not yet intend to make this cell his main residence, he is ready to use it as a placed for reflection and creation for his personal use or for guests tempted by the experience of living in confined quarters. This structure is named for the Israeli writer and director Etgar Keret who was the first to make it his home, describing it a “memorial to his family,” since some of his relatives died in the concentration camps of World War II.
For the Polish government, Keret House is not a house, but a work of art.