From Britain’s weirdest garden to America’s most expensive ranch to one of Hong Kong’s tiniest apartments, it’s sure been a superlative-heavy couple of weeks in the world of not-always-green homes and gardens.
Now, drum roll please, there’s this tidbit — and I mean tidbit — out of Warsaw, Poland, where Jakub Szczęsny of architectural firm Centrala has designed what could very well be the world’s skinniest house, measuring only 122 cm (4 feet) across at its widest and a claustrophobia-inducing 72 cm (28 inches) across at its thinnest.
I’ve covered svelte abodes in the past but this one, designed to be the temporary home and workplace for Israeli writer Etgar Keret, certainly takes the proverbial cake. And on the topic of cake, as Co. Design’s Suzanne Labarre so eloquently puts it, it’s the kind of place that “could make Calista Flockheart look like a fatty.”
Named Keret House after Szczęsny’s narrow-minded resident, the 156-square foot, tri-level "hermitage" (about the same size as the aforementioned tiny apartment in Hong Kong) will be built as an “art installation” (because no way does it come close to meeting Polish building code) in a narrow alleyway between two existing buildings in Warsaw’s Wola district. Electricity will be lifted from a neighboring building and the off-grid plumbing system is based on “boat-inspired water and sewage technology.” The entire triangle-shaped structure, inside and out, will be painted white. I suppose painting it any other color would make the building look fat.
And get this: this isn’t just a space for Keret alone to work, sleep, eat, and potentially have panic attacks. The space, accessible via a remote-control staircase that folds up into the floor when not in use, is designed as a salon of sorts for visiting artists — or “young creators and intellectualists from all over the world” as the Keret House's architect puts it. Good lord. Here’s hoping all these “young intellectualists” have the builds of Lara Flynn Boyle and the breath-holding capabilities of Chriss Angel.
Construction of the Keret House is expected to begin this September and be wrapped up in December. What do you think? Could you ever live, let alone spend a few hours, in such a narrow space?