The Keret House is a building squeezed in the crack of two buildings. It’s all of 4 feet wide.

Even still, it features standard amenities, like a kitchen and a bathroom.

Note that the triangular frame juts right into the house.

The sleeping quarters are on top, bathed in natural light from a translucent roof.

The entryway stairs actually fold up to become the first floor’s floor!

Ultimately, it’s a two-story triangle.

And despite 30-foot ceilings …

… you’d better watch the way you stretch.

… you’d better watch the way you stretch.

… you’d better watch the way you stretch.

Co.Design

At 4 Feet Wide, This Is The World’s Thinnest House

The Keret House in Poland is about the width of a car. So pace yourself at Costco, buddy.

In a 4-foot crack between two buildings in Warsaw, Poland, Jakub Szczęsny envisioned a home. It would be dubbed the Keret House, providing 150 square feet of living space to anyone who promises to only stretch one way. It’s an extremely tight fit to say the least, yet it squeezes in a bathroom, kitchen, and a reasonable place to sleep.

Since the last time we shared plans for the project, you’ll see that the finished building has developed a far more industrial aesthetic, resembling a Tetris block more than a carefully rounded suppository. It’s sharp down to its frame, a series of metal triangles that form a two-story lattice hovering 10 feet off the ground.

“It’s a rather ‘minimal existence unit,’ but I’ve done my best to fight for centimeters in table, seating, kitchenette, and corridor widths,” Szczęsny tells Co.Design. “For sure some people might feel claustrophobic, but there’s actually a lot of vertical space.”

Whereas white walls can be the hallmark of an undecorated home, Szczęsny purposefully “maximized” the whiteness to enlarge the space, making each wall glow through a semi-translucent polycarbonate roof and facade. And he’s not lying about the vertical space. The Keret House may be just 4 feet wide, but it’s also 33 feet deep and the ceilings reach 30 feet high at their peak.

That the Keret House merely looks tiny rather than completely unlivable is a testament to its clever, functional design touches. Like the entryway staircase—which folds up to double as the first floor’s, well, floor. Or a toilet modeled after boat plumbing.

“As one of the ladies in the department of architecture in the Wola district office said: ‘I think it’s impossible, but I’m giving my acceptance, because maybe it’s possible.' Which made the whole thing more possible, of course: It was a building permit,” Szczęsny writes.

So who will live in this tiny home first? Israeli writer Etgar Keret. He’s a fitting namesake for the building, too, as Keret is known for writing short stories that are particularly short.

See more here.

[Hat tip: design milk]

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10 Comments

  • Irene Velveteen

    This reminded me of a project which might have been given to a student in architecture or similar...
    Concepts like this arise hundreds of times a day but remain on paper so it's really cool to see one 'in the flesh'. 
    The explanation about high ceilings and white walls tells us Szczesny was up for a challenge and SUCCEEDED.
    Every commendation! 
    But yeh, you wouldn't catch me in there for longer than 10 minutes for fear of being crushed. Maybe a good space for basketball players.

  • Irene Velveteen

    This reminded me of a project which might have been given to a student in architecture or similar...

    Concepts like this arise hundreds of times a day but remain on paper so it's really cool to see one 'in the flesh'. 
    The explanation about high ceilings and white walls tells us Szczesny was up for a challenge and SUCCEEDED.
    Every commendation! 
    But yeh, you wouldn't catch me in there for longer than 10 minutes for fear of being crushed. Maybe a good space for basketball players.

  • Sabrtooth

    So, when you have a heart attack after having a breakdown from the space closing in around you, how do the paramedics get in and out with you on a stretcher? Especially if you're in up in the "bedroom"?

  • LIB

    Wow. This house took a giant crap on the Vitruvian Man. There's a reason that bedrooms are sized the way they are. It's not some vestigial dimension from the classical age. It's because it's what feels right. I don't care how clever you are, a 4' wide 25' tall living space is enough to drive any inhabitant clinically insane.

  • Yakbob

    Go back and read the original article...it'll make you feel better about the analogy used in this one. :-)

  • Erewhon

    "...carefully rounded suppository"? That's an analogy I could have done without.