Squeezed between two buildings, Keret House in Warsaw, Poland measures 152 cm (60 in) at its widest point and 92 cm (36 in) at its narrowest. Built in 2012, the house was designed by architect Jakub Szczęsny.
According to Euromaxx, the house is too small to be considered a residence by Polish law, thus Keret House is instead considered an art installation.
The house or ‘installation’ has been designed to be used by different artists who can apply to stay and live in Keret House as an artist in residence, however the space’s patron and main, symbolic tenant was Etgar Keret, a Jewish/Israeli author.
Keret House is located in Warsaw’s Wola district which was formerly a Jewish ghetto. In fact, Etgar’s mother was smuggled out of Wola as a child to escape death.
The iron structure contains two floors, and has one bedroom, a kitchen, a bathroom and a living area. It has two non-opening windows, with sunlight also entering through translucent glass panels that make up the walls. The entire interior is painted white and the building’s electricity is obtained from a neighboring building. The house has custom water and sewage technology and is not connected to the city-provided water systems.
Because of its small size, the building only accommodates a small 2-beverage refrigerator, and occupants use a ladder to travel from level to level. Entry is via retractable stairs that, when closed, become the living area. [source]
“The house is located here, because it is here that two architectural layers from two historical epochs tangene. The first is a brick building on Żelazna Street – a fragment of the pre-World War II city, almost no longer existing. The second – a cooperative concrete apartment building, an element of an ‘imposed structure’, which was aimed at negating the previous city landscape. Their adjacency is coincidental – like many architectural structures in Warsaw.
Keret House is a perfect example of the so-called ‘non-matching’ in the city’s urban fabric. It is a structure, which by way of contrast separates itself from its surrounding area and at the same time tries to act as its binding element. Another reason is the city’s war history – the house’s location is where two ghettos – the large ghetto and the small ghetto met. Only a few steps from the house stood a footbridge that connected both sealed off areas.”
– Architect Jakub Szczęsny on the location of Keret House
The construction of the Keret House was supported by the Warsaw Town Hall and the Polish Modern Art Foundation and is located between 22 Chłodna Street and 74 Żelazna Street in Warsaw, Poland. Although the plot measures 152 cm (60 in) at its widest point and 92 cm (36 in) at its narrowest, the house itself is a mere 122 cm (48 in) at its widest and 72 cm (28 in) at its narrowest.