Jakub Szczęsny


Courtesy of the Polish Institute in Budapest

Keret House, 2012 (model: 2015), scale 1:25, plastic, paper, wood, 45 × 57 × 13,5 cm

model realized by Kuba Morkowski, Adam Perka

Keret House is an artistic installation created in the middle of the Wola district in Warsaw in 2012. It is a form of an insert between two buildings representing different periods from Warsaw history. The plot where the House is located is 152 centimetres wide in the widest place and 92 centimetres wide in the narrowest part. Despite the miniature size it can constitute an independent place to live and work in the Wola district – that is almost in the very centre of the city of Warsaw. At first sight it seems that it is impossible to create a living space on this area. The aim of the Keret House is to abolish this impression and to broaden the notion of impossible architecture. The House was erected in a place where architectural tissues of different periods meet. The first one in a tenement house at Żelazna Street – a fragment of the pre-war city, which miraculously survived from the Jewish ghetto. The other one is a house of blocks, a part of a system which was meant to negate the previous urban structure. The author of installation, Jakub Szczęsny decided to fill such a crack, to restore its existence by turning it into a perfectly functional living space and by inviting somebody to take care of this space. The House is equipped with all functional facilities: there is a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom and a place to work. It has been planned as an Hermitage – a place for creative reflection. An Israeli writer Etgar Keret is the patron of this space and its symbolical resident. For him it is a kind of symbolic return to the city where his parents met. For Warsaw citizens apart from being just a tourist attraction, it is also a symbolical fusion of the past and the future. This set of meanings is utilised by the artists invited to the Keret House – a residential programme, within which we host the artists from all over the world, constitutes an inherent part of the project.

Jakub Szczęsny (b. 1973, Warsaw) – architect. Studied architecture in Warsaw University of Technology. Since year 2008 is involved in extra-architectural projects in Poland, Israel and Palestinian Autonomy with leading Polish and foreign curators and art institutions.