KERET HOUSE: THE WORLD’S THINNEST HOME!

This is a very nice story.  I like writing about positive occurrences in this world that involve talented and compassionate people who seem to rise above all of the craziness.  It is sometimes hard to imagine that people can still concentrate on artistic ventures  in these times

of monetary crises and uprisings and who knows what. But its good to know that the heart and soul can win out in the end and the human need for creativity and passion never dissipates.

 

THE ACTUAL SPACE WHERE KERET HOUSE WOULD BE CONSTRUCTED

THE ACTUAL SPACE WHERE KERET HOUSE WOULD BE CONSTRUCTED

 

This story involves a very talented architect from Poland and a talented writer in Israel.  The architect, Jakub Szczesny, is a member of a collective called Centrala, which is known for it’s experimental architecture. One day while walking down a street in the old Jewish ghetto in Warsaw he saw this space…he called it a “cushion of air”… between a prewar and a postwar building and was inspired to create an architectural connection between the two.

 

ETGAR KERET IN THE BEDROO OF KERET HOUSE

ETGAR KERET IN THE BEDROOM OF KERET HOUSE

 

The talented writer lives in Israel and his name is Etgar Keret. Keret is of Jewish heritage and his family lived and died in the Warsaw ghetto during WW II. An acclaimed writer, Keret is especially noted  for his excellent collections of very short stories. 

 

ENTRY STAIRS THAT OPEN AND CLOSE AT KERET HOUSE

ENTRY STAIRS THAT OPEN AND CLOSE AT KERET HOUSE

 

Szczesny saw a connection between Keret’s background and the short stories  and his dream to construct this sliver of a building. Deciding that Keret would be the ideal resident for his yet to be constructed house, he visited him in Israel to discuss the project. The two connected  and the rest is history.  Now the problem was how  Szczesny  was going to construct the house, aka Keret House, and what would it look like.

 

KITCHEN AT KERET HOUSE

KITCHEN IN KERET HOUSE

 

The space between the buildings is 5′ at its widest point and 36″ at its narrowest. Keret House does not touch either of the buildings so it’s final dimensions range from 4′ to 28″. The goal was to design something that had the integrity  of a house within that confines.

 

BATHROOM AT KERET HOUSE

BATHROOM IN KERET HOUSE

 

Needless to say, there were many challenges and design hurdles to jump over in order to accomplish this task. Unique construction solutions had to be devised, special equipment from Germany had to be brought to the site, access and ventilation had to be devised. Ingenious details had to be designed to maximize the minimal amount of space so that someone could enter and move around. And resolutions on how to provide sufficient light had to be dreamed up. And then there was the $64,000 design question:  Could someone actually live in such a small, narrow space?

 

DESK OUTSIDE OF BEDROOM IN KERET HOUSE

DESK OUTSIDE OF BEDROOM IN KERET HOUSE

 

Believe it or not, Keret House actually has an entry room, a bedroom, a kitchen, a bathroom and a desk at which to work.  It is completely done in white inside with splashes of colors thrown into the furnishings. So, I guess the answer to that question is “yes,” provided that person is not claustrophobic!

 

A VIEW OF THE NARROW END OF KERET HOUSE

A VIEW OF THE NARROW END OF KERET HOUSE

 

Truth be told, according to the law, Keret House is too small to be considered a home or residence in Warsaw.   The city has classified it as an art installation and the plan for the future is for Keret and Szczesny to select various artists to reside within it’s narrow confines for short terms.

 

GOING UP THE EXTERIOR STAIRS AT KERET HOUSE

GOING UP THE EXTERIOR STAIRS AT KERET HOUSE

 

On a serious level, Szczesny accomplished what he set out to do on all three levels: architecturally, socially and culturally. Aside from creating an artistic statement, he has provided Keret with a “home” that is  symbolic of the one his family lost during the war and a memorial to the deaths of his family.

 

WORKING ON THE CONSTRUCTION OF KERET HOUSE

WORKING ON THE CONSTRUCTION OF KERET HOUSE

 

Keret’s House stands out as a symbol of intelligent creativity and artistic endeavor.  I am not sure whether or not the city will allow it to remain forever…but it would be fun to actually have the opportunity to climb those stairs and stay overnight!

Nice story, right?

 

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Ciao, ciao ’til next time!