Switzerland is one of the smallest, but most densely populated countries in Europe. It has a population of approximately 7.3 million, with 173 people per square kilometer. Here, space is at a premium. In all other European countries, appliances are 60 centimeters wide. Here, they are 55 centimeters wide. Why? Space. There is a lack of it.
When we were looking for apartments, I noticed all the elevators were the same (tiny) size. This appears to be a pretty standard size that is just large enough to fit appliances in one at a time. Our kitchen is packed like the blocks from a game of Tetris, but it all fits. We are lucky to even have appliances like a dishwasher, oven, washing machine and dryer.
They are also smaller than we were used to in the US and only hold about a half to a third of what our washer in the US did. It also takes a bit longer to wash and dry a load here, clocking in at about 4 hours. The result, we wear things a little more before throwing them in the wash.