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The Slimmest, Tiniest, How-Do-They-Fit Houses in the World

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Austrian artist Erwin Wurm has exhibited his "Narrow House"—a sculpture modeled after his childhood home but constricted in width—around the world, but it has found perhaps its most ironic installation in Venice, Italy, where it has been placed next to one of the canal city's massive palazzos (above). The work, intended to convey intrusion into personal space, but people around the world actually live in structures that are almost this narrow. After the jump, check out four slim houses that manage to cram some not-so-gimmicky living spaces onto absurdly small lots.

? In NYC, where large townhouses trade for close to $50M, this slender beauty—measuring just 98 inches across—is asking a whopping $4.3M, thanks in part to a recent renovation and some tenuous celebrity connections. Cary Grant and John Barrymore are rumored former tenants of the tiny townhouse, which squeezes in three bedrooms and two baths. Even the address hints at a less than substantial structure: 75 1/2 Bedford Street.

? Across the pond in London, England, the aptly named Sliver House was designed by Boyarsky Murphy Architects to fit into "a complex infill site." The house is just 10 feet wide at the facade, but expands to 20 feet near the back and has a minimalist design that helps to make the space feel even larger, though that kitchen looks less inviting than we'd expect.

? The Tokyo, Japan firm of Aoki Jun has a different approach to the problem of an urban infill lot, this one a flag lot accessed by a single lane driveway. The house, built in 2000, presents as a glass and steel tower with what looks like just enough room for the staircase, but opens up as the lot widens. That's good news too, considering the c House is only seven feet wide at its narrowest point.

? The "Venice of the North," Amsterdam, Holland, is awash in narrow houses, thanks to an old system of taxation based on house width at the street side. Taxes must have been pretty low at Singel 166, as the canal front facade is just under six feet wide. Luckily for its inhabitants, the house expands as it extends back away from the street, offering marginally more livable space, but still sandwiched between two much-larger residences.

· Erwin Wurm: 'Narrow Mist' at UCCA [DesignBoom]
· Heiress Libet Johnson Buys $48 Million Vanderbilt Mansion [Curbed NY]
· NYC's Narrowest House Returns to Market Asking $4.3 Million [Curbed NY]
· Sliver House [Boyarsky Murphy]
· c House [Aoki Jun]