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Tight Quarters: The World’s Thinnest House Opens In Poland
October 28, 2012
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How much space do you really need?

That's the question facing anyone who decides to live in the world's thinnest house, which opened its door recently in Warsaw, Poland.

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The house is definitely not for claustrophobes: at its widest point, it's five feet across. And in places, it's only three feet wide.

The structure is squeezed into an alleyway between a pre-Second World War house and a modern apartment block, and it was originally intended as an art installation.

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Still, according to architect Jakub Szczesny, the house has everything a tenant needs.

"It contains all necessary amenities such as a micro-kitchen, mini-bathroom, sleeping cubicle and tiny work area, all accessible via ladders," he said.

The key to reducing the fear of a tight space? Plenty of light.

And by using a translucent material for the roof, Szczesny has ensured that the house receives lots of natural light during the day.

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The extreme thinness of the house may seem like a gimmick, but there's some serious thinking behind it.

"Research shows we are approaching a social disaster because too little living space is built," Szczesny said. "You don't need that much space to live in, so it is worth considering building smaller scaled, cheaper housing."

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And there's another level of symbolism at work in the placement of the building.

Israeli writer Etgar Keret will be the first person to live in the house, which was named Keret House in his honour.

Many members of Keret's family died during the Holocaust under Nazi Germany's occupation of Poland. The house was built at the point where one of the largest Jewish ghettos in occupied Europe was created.

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