Foster Huntington's Skate Park & Tree Hut Brotopia
Words & Interview: Sylvester Dunvad
Photos: Amanda Scheller
A goat walks through a skatepark as the sun sets over the staggering view of the forests of Washington. It sounds like the start of a somewhat unfunny limerick, but in reality, the scene is taken straight out of the magnificent and weirdly amazing place that is The Cinder Cone. The Cinder Cone is the product of allowing yourself to dream. It is the work of a so called ‘bronado’ and is the kind of place a friend swears they are going to live someday, with 6 glasses of wine into the evening.
Two treehouses, a skatepark and a view, that could make a forsaken man believe again, are what makes up The Cinder Cone. It is located in the forests outside of the capitol of the free world, Washington. A bridge connects the two treehouses with each other, allowing for residents to freely roam between trees as a kind of 21st century Tarzan. Winter, spring, summer or fall, both treehuts stand up to the ever changing weather and protects against both the harsh summersun and the darkest of overcasts.
The Cinder Cone lays residence to Foster Huntington, a twenty-something with an ambitious way of life. The untraditional homes are now both the place he gets work done and the place he gets work from. It consists of the two treehouses, both hovering between 20 and 35 feet above the ground in each their treetop. One is the studio, the other is the octagon. Huntington considers the studio his workplace and the octagon his home, but in a way, the enterity of The Cinder Cone serves as his workplace, as the magnificent home has paved the way for interviews, job offers and a natural interest in the guy who actually made reality of the dreams we all have. The Cinder Cone came to be with the help of two things; Huntingtons friends – also known as the ‘bronado’ – and a hearty portion of dedication. During a one-year period, Huntington and his friends-now-turned-contractors defied nature, to mount the two buildings to the two trees. The building process was captured on camera by a friend of Huntingtons, and documents the high- and lowlights of the hard work it is to build a hovering home. Greyly dimmed scenes of mud covered boots replace the look of soon-to-be joy, as the seasons change, and the treehouses take shape. The camera often times pans over the friends blowing off steam by riding vintage motorbikes or indulging in Bruce Lee-like karate moves. It is easy to see why Foster Huntington has named his home a ‘brotopia’.
The Cinder Cone was not Huntingtons first dream come true though. A few years prior, he was first in line for a fine career in the fashion world. He had graduated college, gotten a job at a top notch fashion house, and settled in New York – he had already made it! But as all people working top notch jobs, trying to sell material goods in a material world, Huntington suffered what could be described as a quarter life crisis, doubting whether or not he was on the right track. In an almost textbook move, he quit his job, bought a campervan and toured the Californian coast. After a few years of living on the road, Huntington was faced with the idea of building The Cinder Cone. Today, Huntington lives in his treehouse utopia, waking up everyday to only one status update – the one on the sky. Every day is defined differently by the weather and his natural surroundings, bringing him a whole lot closer to the original human relationship with nature, than he ever could living in the asphalt jungle of New York. Long gone is the stress that comes with being in a constant radius of everything all the time. And that is the thing. Having all possibilities and opportunities also means that, you have no opportunities, as a grey overcast, nothing really gets to stand out.