Talk about feeling walled in.
A house wedged into a 5-foot wide alley between two buildings in Warsaw, Poland, was unveiled by architect Jakub Szczesny last week. The two-story aluminum and plastic house, which is only 4 feet wide (and actually narrows to 2 feet wide toward the back), comes with a bedroom, kitchen, bathroom and eating area. With a whopping 46 square feet of total floor space, this "home" doesn't actually meet Polish building code, and is being classified as an art installation.
The project is called the Keret house, named after Israeli writer Etgar Keret (pictured at left). Keret headed the project and is the first person to live in the property. The area is meaningful to Keret because a lot of his family was killed in Poland during the Holocaust, and this house is in the former location of one of the largest Jewish ghettos in Europe.
Szczesny says that he built the house for two reasons: to fill an empty space in the city and to link Warsaw's World War II tragedy with the modern buildings that went up in its place afterwards. Szczesny also wants to show that we can survive with much less living space.
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"Research shows we are approaching a social disaster because too little living space is built," the architect was quoted as saying in the British newspaper, The Sun. "You don't need that much space to live in, so it is worth considering building smaller-scaled, cheaper housing."
The home comes completely furnished, with a "nearly double-size" bed, a "bean bag sofa," a fridge with room for two drinks and some tables. It's so narrow that you can only move between floors via a ladder bolted onto one of the walls. The house also contains no actual windows; sunlight comes through small holes in the bedroom.
Even though Keret will be the host of the house for the next three years, he that says he only visits Warsaw a few times a year, so other artists are expected to use the narrow space. See more photos of the completed home, and what it looked like under construction, below.
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