Earlier this week, we announced the completion of the world’s narrowest house in Warsaw, Poland. The Keret House was first conceived as a seemingly impossible vision of the Polish architect Jakub Szczesny of Centrala, who first presented the idea as an artistic concept during the WolaArt festival in 2009. Now, three years later, the vision has become a reality and is drawing a significant amount of international attention to the city of Warsaw.
Built between two existing structures from two historical epochs, the narrow infill is more of an art installation that reacts to the past and present of Warsaw. Although the semi-transparent, windowless structure’s widest point measures only 122 centimeters, it’s naturally lit interior doesn’t seem nearly as claustrophobic as one would think.
The Keret House will serve indefinitely as a temporary home for traveling writers, starting with Israeli writer Etgar Keret.
Images and the architects’ description after the break…
Keret House is the installation art in the form of an insert in between two existing buildings. The project was launched on Saturday 20th of October in Warsaw. It is led by the Israeli writer Etgar Keret.
Artistic hermitage in public space
Keret House is fully functional space in which one can live as well as create. It is located between buildings at Chlodna 22 Street and Zelazna 74 Street. “We deeply believe it will become a symbol of modern Warsaw ingrained in its complicated history. The House attracts attention of media from entire world. He hopes it will show the most fascinating side of Warsaw”, said project curators Sarmen Beglarian and Sylwia Szymaniak form Polish Modern Art Foundation.
The House is located on the plot measuring 92 centimeters in its narrowest point and 152 centimeters in its widest point. “That is why at first it seems that the construction of living space within such premise is impossible. Keret House is to contradict that false image, simultaneously broadening the concept of impossible architecture”, says the architect Jakub Szczesny. The house itself is 72 centimeters in the narrowest and 122 centimeters in the widest point.
In the fracture of history
The house is located between two buildings from two historical epochs. “The first is a brick building on Zelazna 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. Another reason is the city’s war history – where the house is located, two ghettos – the large ghetto and the small ghetto met. Only a few steps from the house, a bridge connecting the two closed spaces, stood”, explains Jakub Szczesny.
Project’s Founder/Concept Designer: Jakub Szczesny
Art Curators: Sarmen Beglarian, Sylwia Szymaniak
Executive Producer: Joanna Trytek – Black Salt Production
Organizer: Polish Modern Art Foundation
Co-financing: the Capital City of Warsaw
Partner: National Centre for Culture
General conctractor: AWBUD
Partners: GIRA, Kingspan, Decoroom, Volunta Parket, Milantex, Polish Institute in Tel Aviv, White & Case, Kostrzewa PR, Chylinski Family, Jewish Community in Warsaw, Chlodna Comedy Club, PMG Partners, Biuro Wystaw
The Keret House project was run by Polish Modern Art Foundation. Founded by Piotr Nowicki in the fall of 1985, PMAF is one of the first, independent non-profit organizations operating in the art field. Its main goal is and always has been the promotion of those artists whose activity contributes to the development of contemporary art.
Learn more on the Dom Kereta official Facebook page.
All images courtesy of Centrala.