Trapezes, pantries and rolls: 7 narrow houses that people live in
Many people complain that their homes are not spacious enough. But there are houses in the world that are 200-300 cm wide or less, in which architects have created a cozy and functional space. We tell you where the narrowest buildings are and if it is comfortable to live there
Not all outwardly narrow buildings are actually the same inside. Sometimes it’s an optical illusion, like the walled houses in St. Petersburg. Such buildings look thin at a certain angle, but the apartments there are of normal size.
In Holland and Poland a few centuries ago, a tax was levied on the width of the facade, and therefore the entrance to the house in these countries is often much narrower than the interior. And in modern Japan, due to lack of free land and strict legislation, narrow architecture has become one of the most popular trends.
Keret House, Warsaw
Year built: 2012
Location: Poland, Warsaw, between 22 Chłodna Street and 74 Żelazna Street
The narrowest house in the world is in the Polish capital. The minimum width of the building is 92 cm, the maximum 152 cm. According to Polish law, such a narrow building cannot be considered a dwelling, so the Keret House is recognized as an art installation. The two-storey structure is made of metal and polycarbonate and stands on steel supports. It has no windows – the perforated facade lets in light. On the first floor there is a kitchen, living room and bathroom with shower, on the first floor there is a bedroom. Keret House is located in the former Jewish Ghetto and is sandwiched between a prewar apartment building and a postwar cooperative, bridging two periods of Warsaw’s history. Architect Jakub Szczesny named the project after Israeli writer and playwright Etgar Keret, whose short stories inspired its construction. Keret became the house’s first tenant. The Keret House is open to world-traveling writers, journalists, and screenwriters, while residents and visitors to Warsaw can come to the art facility for tours.
Minho House, Madri di Deus
Year built: 2007
Where is it located: Brazil, Bahia, the municipality of Madri de Deus
Another contender for the title of the world’s narrowest building is in the municipality of Madri de Deus in the Brazilian state of Bahia. The author of the idea was the owner of the house – Helenita Queiroz Grave Minho. The three-story structure, 10 meters high and 110 cm wide (200 cm at its widest point) accommodated the Minho wife and three children, mother and sister Helenita, as well as her beloved dog. The woman had planned to build a pantry for the children’s toys, but gradually the project grew to the size of a house with a kitchen, three rooms, a pantry and a porch. The family gave up the old house and moved into the new structure, which has become a tourist attraction. Helenita Minho said she would like to build a fourth floor and open a one-person café.
The Wedge, Milport
Year built: 1857
Where is it located: Great Cumbro, Milport, 50 Stuart St., Great Britain.
The house on the Scottish island of Great Cumbro is officially the narrowest building in the world and is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records. The width of the building is 119 cm. The house became famous in the 1980s when the new owners, George and June Addison, decided to measure the acquisition and claim the record. In February 2015, The Wedge was put back on the market for £85,000. The owner of the structure, former entrepreneur Peter McBride, who bought it in 2001, noted in an interview that the house has enough space for comfortable living. The Wedge lives up to its name, extending inward like a wedge and resembling the shape of a triangular slice of cheese. It has a bedroom, bath, kitchen, living room and small interior hallway. Mr. McBride stressed that the little house needs no special furniture: in all the time he has owned the wedge, he has only bought narrow chairs.
Skinny House, Boston
Year built: 1870s.
Location: 44 Hull Street, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. The house is on the Freedom Trail hiking trail
Boston residents consider the Skinny House to be the narrowest building in the city – its width is 316 cm. There are two legends associated with the house that explain why it appeared. One legend has it that a soldier returning from the Civil War found his brother had built a house that took up almost all the land the two men had inherited. Outraged by the injustice, the veteran erected a narrow but tall house on the remaining scrap of land. The four-story structure blocked the light and blocked the view from the windows of the family of the treacherous relative. According to another version, the “Skinny House” was built by a pro-British man to ruin the life of a patriot neighbor. The house is now for rent – an overnight stay in it costs $325 a night.
Lucky Drops, Tokyo
Year Built: 2005
Location: Japan, a suburb of Tokyo
In Japan, narrow buildings are common and popular. Space constraints and legislation requiring a minimum distance of 1.5 meters between houses forces you to look for non-standard solutions. The Lucky Drops house was created for a young couple who asked Atelier Tekuto to build their home on a narrow plot of land between other buildings. Lucky Drops is trapezoidal in shape, standing 29 meters high with a 320 cm wide basement, the largest part of the house. In this part are the bedroom and kitchen, above them are the living room and dining room. Architect Yasuhiro Yamashita even managed to fit an attic into the tiny house. “Happy Drops” is constructed of metal and “leather,” a special translucent matte material designed by Atelier Tekuto. According to Yamashita, he named the house “Happy Drops” in memory of an old Japanese saying, the Russian equivalent of which is “leftovers are sweet.” This is how the architect emphasized that he was able to use the remnants of vacant land to build a cozy house.
Roll House, Miryang
Year built: 2014
Location: South Korea, Miryang
Architects from South Korea’s Moon Hoon agency solved a similar problem of a house for a young, poor family. On a small narrow plot of land, they built a house where the rooms sequentially flow into each other: the entrance hall opens into the living room, which moves into the dining room and kitchen. There are no walls inside, and the transitions between the rooms are marked by split-level floors. On the second floor the bedroom, the children’s room and the attic are also connected. This layout explains the name of the project, The Roll House. Another unusual detail are the windows of different shapes and sizes throughout the facade of the house and the open terrace in bright red contrasting with the light facade.
The Spite House, Alexandria
Year Built: 1830
Location: Alexandria (Old Town section), Virginia, USA
The Blue House in Alexandria, Virginia is noticeably lower and narrower than its neighbors. The handsome structure is known in the city as the Hollensbury House of Evil. In 1830, the owner of one of the larger buildings, John Hollensbury, was infuriated that carts and carriages were defacing the walls of his homestead as they passed through a narrow alley. To block the road, he built a 210-cm-wide house between the two buildings. Inside the structure, it is still noticeable that it was once a piece of a roadway: you can see wheel marks on the painted brick walls. The home’s current owners, Jack and Colin Sammis, have equipped the house with a kitchen with the necessary appliances: a refrigerator, a four-burner cooktop and an oven. Cupboards and drawers for storing dishes and other utensils were placed in corner alcoves by the windows and under the sofa, and a microwave was placed on a shelf under the stairs. There is a garden in the backyard – as tiny as the structure itself. Hollensbury’s grudge house was the subject of a famous Oprah Winfrey show – American interior designer Nathan Jay Berkus, who gave an on-air tour of the building, called the little house incredibly cozy.
10 of the world’s narrowest houses that look like they have nothing behind their facades
Receive one of the most read articles in your inbox once a day. Join us on Facebook and VKontakte.
The creation of original houses is becoming a fashionable trend in modern urban planning. Such unusual complexes have become the rule rather than the exception, because in many countries there is a shortage of land for construction. This is why the creation of super narrow houses for some people reason to stand out, and for others – to fit into the available space and parameters. And strangely enough, even in super-slim houses, people live in very comfortable conditions.
These 10 amazing and “slim” examples are some of the best creations that defy gravity.
1. The Gateway complex in Singapore
This Gateway complex consists of two 37-story thin skyscrapers. Its creator, IM Pei, designed the buildings with maximum use of free space. From the front the Gateway towers look absolutely unremarkable, but if you look from the end they take on a bizarre two-dimensional look.
These huge towers are located on Beach Road in the heart of Singapore and symbolize the “East Gateway” and the “West Gateway”.
Many architectural agencies recognized such an original design as revolutionary, but the city’s residents refer to the towers as “two huge cardboard boxes.
2. Happy Drops House (Japan)
The Lucky Drops house, created in Japan by the architectural bureau Atelier TEKUTO. This very narrow and long house has a whimsical trapezoidal shape in the form of a drop of water, its base is 3.2 meters wide and 9.3 meters high.
3. The Mouthpiece House in Manhattan (New York, USA)
The most famous skyscraper in New York is the Flatiron Building (Iron) and it is located at the intersection of 5th Avenue, Broadway and 23rd Street. The building is 82 meters high and the north façade is only 2 meters wide. It was one of the world’s first such narrow and irregular buildings designed and built by architect Daniel Burnham in 1902.
And its unusual form was the result of the fact that the land in the city was very expensive, and to squeeze out of such a small triangular plot should be as much as possible.
4. Skinny Haussmann Building in Paris (France)
There are a huge number of architectural landmarks in Paris and among them stands out for its originality a very narrow house resembling “skinny slices”. It is the most famous “skinny” building in Paris with the name Skinny Haussmann Building.
5. The Icon Building, a super-slim apartment building in New York City (USA)
This unusual building has 43 floors and its non-trivial design gives a new look to urban architecture and opens up new opportunities to improve the lives of its inhabitants. Each floor has only three apartments, and all the rooms at the ends of the house have a magnificent view through the glass walls.
6. The Narrow House in Kisarazu, Japan
The Narrow Building is located in the Ushigome neighborhood of Kisarazu City, where very little space is available for building houses. So in Japan, such thin spaces are no longer considered extraordinary or rare. In this house very original semicircular balconies were created, which open to their inhabitants a 180-degree panorama of the surroundings. It not only houses the usual apartments, but even manages to arrange a restaurant.
7. The narrowest Pancake House in Osaka, Japan
This super-slim and unusual building is located in the city of Osaka and was named “Pancake House” or “Razor House. Not only do people live in the striking house, but there is also a restaurant with the unusual name Try Angle.
8. “The Thin House in London, UK
This incredible “Thin House” has become a very popular tourist attraction. When you approach the house from the west side, you see its end of only 2.1 meters and you think that such a thin house must surely fall down. But this is just an illusion, because the house is triangular in shape, and the width of the building at the other end is up to 10 meters. The reason for such an unusual shape lies in the location of the building itself, because the railway line runs at such an angle, and construction was started on the remaining piece of land.
9. “Witch House” in Odessa (Ukraine)
This house was built during the tsarist Russia, but when the construction was in full swing, it was found out that the funds had run out and the architect took an extraordinary decision by changing the project. That’s why there is a very thin house, which from the front facade looks like an ordinary building in the style of the old Odessa.
But if you look at the construction from the end part, a very shocking spectacle opens, because the width of the house is only 1 meter! Because of such an amazing and mystical look, the house has received a very scathing name “Witch House”.
But there is nothing mystical about the design of the house, just a skilful application of the optical illusion that is created by the fact that the side walls of the house are designed at an acute angle.
10. The Wall House in St. Petersburg, Russia
This is one of the most mysterious houses of the Northern capital, which is located on Borovaya Street. Its unrealistically flat appearance can be seen only from an end angle. Anyone who sees it for the first time has the feeling that it is a theater set, not an apartment building. This unusual building was designed by the architect M.B. Kvart back in 1909 and was intended to be a lodging house.
Such houses in the city were created not only once and not only in the last century, you can see a very narrow new building on the Kolomyazhsky Prospect, already of modern design.
Along with such narrow houses, which is very economical urban space, created and very original home for the construction of which allocated a huge area, because they were. round shape.