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First look: Inside the world's thinnest house

Posting in Architecture

Last year, an unassuming alleyway in Warsaw, Poland received a lot of attention after an architectural firm announced that it will soon be the site of the world's thinnest house. Now, newly released footage has provided the public with a rare glimpse of what it's like to live in such extremely cramped living quarters.

The triangular building, designed by Polish architect Jakub Szczesny, measures a mere three feet wide at it's narrow point and stretches 33 feet long from front to back. I couldn't find any official records on these kind of structures, but one property thought to have held the title can be found on the island of Great Cumbrae in Scotland. Named "The Wedge," the one bedroom home, also built along a tight alleyway, measures about four feet wide in the front, but expands as you move towards the back.

The newly unveiled "Keret house," named after Israeli writer and soon-to-be occupant Etgar Keret, was conceived as a kind of social commentary on the lack of housing in Warsaw.

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

The two-story house is located in a neighborhood where the Nazis established the largest Jewish ghetto during their occupation of Poland. Inside, you'll find a series of ladders leading up to various rooms such as a bedroom, kitchen, office and bathroom -- with each specially modified to enable the resident to make due despite the space's seriously constrained dimensions. For instance, without windows, holes were drilled along a side of the bedroom to provide sunlight. Downstairs, the toilet and shower were combined, meaning you can sit and wash up at the same time. Meanwhile, the dinner table seats only two, which makes sense considering that the fridge has only enough space for two drinks. And to ease any sense of claustrophobia, the house is designed to allow the sun to brighten the interior.

"I think plenty of light is the most important," the architect said. "So in order to eliminate the fears of the narrow space, I use the polycarbonate sheet to make roof and make walls to the maximum width. This is why the house looks so white and transparent."

Keret, who has headed the art project, says he plans to live at the property, on-and-off, for six months.

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— By on October 22, 2012, 9:30 PM PST

Tuan Nguyen

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Tuan C. Nguyen is a freelance science journalist based in New York City. He has written for the U.S. News and World Report, Fox News, MSNBC, ABC News, AOL, Yahoo! News and LiveScience. Formerly, he was reporter and producer for the technology section of ABCNews.com. He holds degrees from the University of California Los Angeles and the City University of New York's Graduate School of Journalism. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure