Keret House / Centrala

Courtesy of Centrala

In , in the district of Wola lies a small crack of space between the buildings on 22 Chłodna Street and 74 Żelazna Street.  Jakub Szczęsny of Centrala, recognized the potential to create something unique within this narrow area, and derived a design of an art installation entitled Keret House. The house upon completion shall become the narrowest house in Warsaw, measuring an interior that will vary between 122 centimeters and 72 centimeters in its narrowest spot.

Architects: Centrala
Location: Wola, Poland
Designer: Jakub Szczęsny
Project Area: 14,5 sqm
Project Year: December 2011
Project Curators: Sarmen Beglarian, Sylwia Szymaniak
Project Announcement: Wola Art Festival “CityProjectWola
Organizers: Modern Polish Art Foundation, President Piotr Nowicki, Wola District Office of the Capital City of Warsaw; Coordinator Anna Fiszer-Nowacka; Gmina Wyznaniowa Żydowska w Warszawie, Coordinator Judyta Nekanda-Trepka

Courtesy of Centrala

The house will be a workplace, a hermitage created for an outstanding Isreali writer, Etgar Keret. Besides, it will also fulfill a function of a studio for invited guests – young creators and intellectualists from all over the world.

The residential program, conducted in the heart of Wola, is supposed to produce creative work conditions and become a significant platform for world intellectual exchange.


Structurally the house is a simple tri-dimensional steel frame finished with plywood, insulated sandwich panels and styrofoam covered with concrete cloth painted white.

The interior will also be painted all white.

Courtesy of Centrala

The “living” will place itself on the transformable, remote control openable stairs, that flatten themselves when being in”up” position and become regular stairs when going down.

It will be equipped with boat-inspired water and sewage technology independent from city systems, the electricity will be delivered by a neighboring building.


Currently the house is receiving building permits as art installation, since it doesn’t fulfill any existing Polish building codes, the building process is supposed to start in September.

Courtesy of Centrala
Cite: Minner, Kelly. "Keret House / Centrala" 22 Jul 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 Sep 2014. <>


    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      Width of a staircase? If that’s not motivation to eat healthy and stay active, I don’t know what is.

  1. Thumb up Thumb down +9

    Pregnancy Test House

  2. Thumb up Thumb down +5

    A novel concept, but why a triangular section? A rectangular section makes no difference to the street elevation, and just think of the possibilities; you could get in a glorious 122cm wide bath in that top corner, or some equally jarring juxtaposition of public and private relationships…

    • Thumb up Thumb down -9

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • Thumb up Thumb down +5

      Probably because the house will be sitting on a tripod that needs to be placed where it is under the large part of the triangle to hold up the majority of the weight and so that the stairs can open. notice there is not much weight being held up on the right side, in proportion the the left.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down +8

    with a small earthquake the guys inside may become 2d. really, the space is more like a seismic joint!

    still love it!

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      Very earthquake unfriendly… Also you can tell that those buildings have shifted towards one another over time, its only a matter of time until the structure is slowly crushed between them… Likely a very long time though..

      Also, what about a fire escape route?

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        No you can’t and no it won’t. They are perfectly straight, photos have angular distortion.

        How many times in your life have you seen a huge building leaning on another? That’s what I thought.

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    don”t like at all for an architectural piece. but for a piece of art …why not , still don’t like , but art is art.

    In fact i cannot stop myself to see bad conceptions in this project .

    I think it is a good point of research for spaceman home in orbit . but that’s all.

  5. Thumb up Thumb down -1

    in fact i understand why it is a triangular shape , because … you have no other choice if you use stairs. So why not an elevator ?

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    GREAT PROJECT/concept! Amazing. Funny too. Love it. Congrats to all.
    Świetny projekt. Gratuluję.

  7. Thumb up Thumb down -1

    Wouldn’t it be better to install an elevator instead of hiding stairs? That way your floor space always stays the same.
    Put the elevator on the opposite side of where the stairs are laid out and it can go to the upstairs too.
    An elevator will make the house marketable for all ages because stair climbing will never become an issue.

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      wouldn’t that defeat the whole perpose? I mean, a house that slim could only hold so many people…

  8. Thumb up Thumb down +2

    Just looking at the plans makes me claustrophobic. The design concept is interesting, but the thought of living in a space that narrow makes me short of breath.

  9. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    the designer needs to make the stairs able to rise up a little so you can use the space under the stairs as storage or extra space. this would maximize the entire area of the house for use!

  10. Thumb up Thumb down +2

    we wonder how someone would be able to live in a space that small, but the real struggle would be the construction crew who are building the building in such a small space!!

  11. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Will the occupant spend most of his time inside this house? Or would it just be a getaway lodging?

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      Think about it, if you want, with a more realistic width ,say 12 ft or 4 meters, make the angle face south and set them on a one car garage/storage/mechanical space, each “footprint’ would be appx 12′ X 40′. With a south facing and if done with geothermal heating it could prove to be a very inivative way to redefine housing for those who don’t desire to have 3000+ sq ft homes. up and coming young professionals, and those who chose to be more enviromentally aware could find them quite appealing. Now if they could be build like townhouses(side by side),from a developer standpoint it could be possible to market a trendy neighborhood in that style say 6 to 10 units connected. think outside the box and the concept could take off! I would live there if my family unit(size wise) would be comfortable, and it was cost effective!

  12. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    A great idea and an interesting concept. I live in a small space and it’s comfortable enough. We are too spoiled living in gigantic houses, when we can simplify our lives…and look at the rest of the world, in particular the areas stricken with poverty, and give more.

  13. Thumb up Thumb down +3

    It looks like a tampon wedged between two buildings. interesting concept though; what else would you do with that alley?

  14. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    So… we aren’t expecting to have families in the future? A single person could live here, but unless you expect to spend your life at Starbucks down the street for some personal space, you are going to need a little more space.

  15. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Some 15 years ago I looked into the opportunity & possibility of building a home on a lakeshore – with the caveat that it be 6 feet wide.

    I’m delighted to see such a concept executed.

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