Keret House, Warsaw’s Slimmest House

In the old country, Poland, specifically, Jakub Szczęny has taken on the challenge of designing a home for the Israeli writer Etgar Keret. The catch is that the design must fit into the narrow space in between two buildings in the Wola district of Warsaw. The home itself does not have a proper address but it lies between 22 Chłodna Street and 74 Żelazna Street. Once constructed, the home will be so narrow that will not meet the local building code, and consequently it’s being called an “art installation.”

The least constricted part of the house will measure 4 feet in width and the narrowest will take a 28-inch measurement. From the outside, the house-installation, whose construction is already underway, will look a bit like an upright pill — instead of a dividing line across the center there’ll be a rectangular window. Not completely in jest, some observers have said the design has the appearance of a sanitary napkin or a pregnancy test. There’s definitely a marked female theme.

The construction will be completed this December. It’s believed that at that time the ultra-slim residence will take on the title of Thinnest House in Warsaw, if not Thinnest House in the World. Beyond providing the littérateur Keret with a space for work and rest, the finished construction will also serve as a “studio for invited guests — young creators and intellectualists from all over the world.” People are already quipping that such plans will only work if the invited guests acquiesce to going on severe diets before arriving; otherwise they will not make it through the home’s slender doorframes.

Throughout the limited space, separate rooms have been designated work, sleep, and also for entertaining visitors. Plumbing is off the grid and takes a lot after sewage handling methods found on boats. A very generous neighbor will be providing the futuristic capsular home with electricity. After getting a load of the plans, architectural critics have hammered in on the fact that the house will have very few windows. Other critics have gone as far as saying that the whole thing smacks of a “deprivation chamber.” Once Etgar Keret moves in, he’ll be the best positioned to tell the world how it’s really like.