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July 05, 2014

Struth! World's narrowest house a hit

IN his continuing search for the more weird, wacky and wondrous in the world of travel, David Ellis says Warsaw in Poland is claiming title to having the world's narrowest house – it's just 72cm (28ins) at its narrowest point and 122cm (48ins) at its widest, and is jammed into an alleyway between two huge commercial buildings in Warsaw's once Jewish Ghetto district.

Architect Jakub Szczesny designed the home as part of a cultural event supported by the City Council, propping it on legs as an "elevated insert" between its imposing neighbours; access is by way of a stairway that leads direct into a diminutive kitchen with adjoining bathroom and ensuite, and from the kitchen a ladder goes up to a bedroom just big enough for a wall-to-wall single bed and a desk, while a 45-degree sloping glass roof allows light into the place (that otherwise has only one tiny window.)

And after trying to envisage just who could live in such seemingly-impossible confinement, and deciding that it would be someone who liked to spend time alone, the house is being provided free to visiting writers doing research work in Warsaw.

Originally intending to keep the house for just two years as somewhat of a curiosity and publicity-generator, the Council says that if sufficient writers want to visit Warsaw to research projects they are writing about the city, they may keep "the world's narrowest house" permanently for these writers' short-term stays.

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