‘The Cinder Cone’ is a multi-platform tree house complete with hot tubs (and a huge skate bowl!) in the Colombia River Gorge, Skamania County, Washington. Set in stunning scenery with amazing views, this place was built to be enjoyed. The Cinder Cone was the brainchild of Foster Huntington, a blogger and photographer who had dreamed of building a tree house since he was a child. He quit his job in 2011 to travel, and after a few years on the road, he was looking for a home away from home that he could use to relax and entertain his friends.
Foster built his home on his family’s property, where he used to go camping as a child. He chose a pair of tall Douglas fir trees to act as bases for his two tree houses, which measure 220 square feet each. A romantic footbridge connects these constructions (one for Foster, one for guests) with beautiful views over the gorge. There are a couple of hot tubs, and then there’s the ‘piece de resistance’: Foster’s skate bowl. The hole was dug from the land using machinery and lined with reinforced concrete. Although it’s not environmentally friendly, it does show us just how awesome a self-built tiny home can be. The sky is the limit when it comes to dreaming big!
The sky is the limit when it comes to dreaming big!
Foster shot a beautiful short film during the first year (above), which documents the project from planning to final touches. The bad news is that Foster spent around $170,000 on the entire project. It’s not cheap, and most of us wouldn’t be able to stretch to that kind of price (on the other hand, as Foster pointed out bluntly to Mpora magazine, “You couldn’t buy shit for that in Manhattan”). The good news is that Foster is currently working on a book about the building of Cinder Cone, and his ideas could potentially be tweaked for people on a much smaller budget.
“Think of it as one part instructional book, one part photo book, and one part tiny homes book,” Foster says on his crowdfunding page. “Over the course of the build, I took thousands of photos and kept sketches, models and notes from the design process” Foster explains. “Since finishing the tree houses, I’ve been organizing these images, drawings and notes into a book. This book will be different than my last two photo books.” (Foster is author of The Burning House and Home is where you park it, as well as being the brains behind the popular hashtag #vanlife, which aims to document the travels of campervan dwellers).
Want the glossy, hardcover book with amazingly inspirational photos and instructions on how to do the same in your area? Foster is currently looking for donations to kick-start his book, which aims to give the rest of us some crucial advice on how to recreate the amazing work at Cinder Cone.
“My goal is to make something that shows the process from dreaming up a seemingly outlandish idea to the final result after thousands of hours of hard work and the moments that happened in between,” Foster explains. “I hope that the result ignites the imagination of people’s inner kid and gets ideas going for their own projects.”
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