Israeli Writer Resides in Narrowest House as Link to Past

The narrowest building in the world opened in Warsaw as an artistic installation that will house renowned Israeli writer Edgar Keret.

Rachel Hirshfeld ,

library (illustrative)
library (illustrative)

The narrowest building in the world, just four feet (1.2 meters) wide, officially opened in Warsaw on Saturday, as an artistic installation that will house renowned Israeli writer Edgar Keret, when he visits Poland twice a year.

Architect Jakub Szczesny said that he designed the two-story aluminum and plastic house three years ago to fill a narrow space between a pre-war house and a modern apartment block in downtown Warsaw.

The triangular building runs 33 feet (10 meters) deep at the base and stands 30 feet (9 meters) tall.

Metal and aluminum pipes hold the structure nearly 10 feet (3 meters) above the ground, and visitors are forced to climb a metal staircase and squeeze through a small hole to enter the building.

Despite its size, though, Szczesny said that the house “contains all necessary amenities such as a micro-kitchen, mini-bathroom, sleeping cubicle and tiny work area, all accessible via ladders."

The Foundation of Polish Modern Art and Warsaw Town Hall co-sponsored the project, called Keret House, which they consider to be a work of art.

Keret said the project is a memorial to his parents' family who were killed during the Holocaust.

“It is a kind of a memorial to my family,” said Keret, whose mother’s and father’s families had all been killed during the Holocaust. His paternal grandfather was killed in the 1944 Warsaw uprising against the Nazis.

Etgar Keret has emerged as one of the leading voices in Israeli literature and cinema. He is the author of six bestselling short story collections, which have been translated into twenty-nine languages. His internationally acclaimed works, which combine absurdity, humor, sadness and compassion, have been published in newspapers and magazines worldwide.