Apply for an Artist Residency in the World’s Narrowest House

The world’s narrowest house, which is barely 5 feet wide — at its widest point! — is now accepting applications for an artist residency program through August 21. The Keret House, which was designed and constructed in Warsaw by architect Jakub Szczesny in 2011 to fit a narrow wedge of space between a prewar apartment building and an 11-story postwar co-op, has branched out from serving as a workplace for its namesake, writer Etgar Keret, to one in which other creatives (of all sizes) are invited to stay. Just imagine: You could produce work while living in a space that occupies what the architect touted as “an appealing cushion of air” to the New York Times in 2012.

Szczesny conceived the idea in 2009 while wandering around Warsaw’s Wola district, inspired in part by the pithy, one-page stories of the Israeli writer. After a series of setbacks — determining who owned the in-between site, and finding a steel manufacturer to take on the small but complicated job, both proved challenging — the house was constructed as a light steel frame made of small modules that screw together, which connects to street level through a staircase. Its 195 square feet of space fit in a kitchen, dining space, bathroom, bedroom, and living room. A semitransparent plastic roof, chosen instead of the more usual concrete, provides the residence with natural sunlight and mediates between interior and exterior space. Too small to be a residence according to Polish law, the Keret House has been classified as an art installation and given to the Foundation of Polish Art. Szczesny and Keret sit as chairs of a board that has selected artists under 35 for residencies at the House since the program’s inception last year.

Residency at the Keret House lasts up to 21 days, during which the lucky artist lives and works in the Warsaw site. In exchange for airfare, accommodation in the Keret House, and studio space, the artist must realize an original project that is “dedicated to Warsaw,” as per the House website. The residency program seeks to explore voids in art and architecture, and so the opportunities the tiny Keret House offers young artists are anything but small.

- Anna Kats

Image courtesy of the Keret House.