world's thinnest house

The increasingly pertinent phenomenon of urbanisation is creating endless problems of lack of living space, and appears to show no signs of abating within the near future. Urban areas are becoming more and more densely populated, yet the living areas for these populations is not and can not cater for this density as it cannot increase at the same rate – or can it?

While many individuals, couples and families around the world compete to determine who owns the largest block of land, the glitziest house or the flashiest car, a different trend is surfacing amongst the environmentally, financially and socially conscious. House designs, particularly those situated in built up areas, are becoming increasingly smaller and more sustainable to answer to this growing need of more living space and to vital pollution issues. On top of this, increased competition has caused housing prices to skyrocket, meaning that many people may have to spend the rest of their life paying off a mortgage. Innovative narrow housing designs provides viable solutions to all of these issues.

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A prime example of this move towards smaller houses – although somewhat extreme in this case – is the world’s thinnest house: an incredibly avant-garde and inventive structure that somehow fits into a five-foot wide alley in Warsaw, Poland. Jakub Szczesny built the incredible house in 2012, revealing it to the public in October last year.

The floor space in the house adds up to a mere 46 square feet with the width of the house ranging from 1.2 metres to just half of that distance. However, despite this limited amount of space the residence still manages to fit in a bed, toilet, shower, kitchen, bean bag sofa, desk, table and a ladder instead of stairs. Believe it or not, short story writer Etgar Keret moved into the house upon it’s completion, with a plan to stay in the Keret House (named after himself) for a year.

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Szczesny says,”‘research shows we are approaching a social disaster because too little living space is built. You don’t need that much space to live in, so it is worth considering building smaller scaled, cheaper housing.”

The Keret House demonstrates that humans really can reside in much smaller spaces than many people believe and that narrower houses are much more practical in cities and are a fantastic solution to the many environmental and social problems associated with urbanisation.

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