We've all heard stories of New York City stockbrokers or lawyers who abandon their jobs in favor of a low-stress career and rural lifestyle. It's practically a cliché at this point. Yet Foster Huntington has given this story a modern twist. The twenty-seven year old who worked as a sportswear designer for Ralph Lauren in Manhattan was succeeding by all accounts, able to pay for a pricey Upper West Side apartment and poised for promotion. But Huntington decided that he wasn't interested in clothing. What he wanted was to immerse himself in nature. To travel the country in a way he could connect with the land he traversed.
Huntington left New York, purchased a van and roamed the country with little direction for three years. To his credit, while practicing this unconventional lifestyle, Huntington's entrepreneurial game and work ethic was strong. He photographed his travels and published several photo books and gained a following on social media, creating the hashtag #vanlife. At that time, Huntington decided he wanted to "settle down." He said in an interview,
"I could’ve bought a house. But this is so much better. For me, it’s realizing a childhood dream."
With the help of hired friends and contractors, Huntington built the treehouse complex shown here. The group of structures, located in western Washington near the Oregon border, consists of two treehouses approximately 200 square feet each; both are equipped with wood stoves. The one pictured above is used as a a sleeping cabin and contains bunk beds. The other is a studio in which Huntington works. The home also has a hot tub with shower and a skate bowl.
Huntington's home in the trees, which he has dubbed "The Cinder Cone" due to it being situated on a dead volcano, took a year to build. He filmed and photographed the construction and plans to publish the photos in a book; an interesting video documenting the process is below.
Visit this New York Times article for a detailed account of Foster Huntington's adventures and accomplishments. Keep up with Huntington and his treehouse life at The Cinder Cone website.