picture (Failak 2001) by József Rosta
How many young people didn't dream of building a hut in a tree? And how many of them actually did this?
Life and works
Peter Császár (b. 1974) built tree-huts indeed, not just one, but lots of them, altogether some thirty tree huts and a number of wooden towers.
Born in Budapest, the capital of Hungary, at age ten he began experimenting with the construction of a tree-hut, at an altitude of some four or five meters. In 1989, at age fifteen, he actually made his first tree-house, at an altitude of some fifteen meters.
picture (1999) by Eva Bársony
His constructions are rather robust, like the one in the picture above, which has a surface of 5 x 5 m, walls and a roof and is situated at an altitude of 12 meters. It is rather a house then a cabin..
this picture and the next one from a webpage by Császár
tower 15 m high, constructed 1990/91,
meanwhile demolished by unknown people
In the same period Peter Császár also constructed wooden towers, but up to now I could not trace information about the whereabouts of these constructions.
another tower, 25 m high, constructed 1994/96,
burnt down by unknown people
Császár had a great respect for nature. In the interview with Ágnes Veronika Tóth (see documentation) he says: "The proximity of the tree calms me. When I build, I still ensure that the trees remain intact (....) What I do is rooted in a great love of nature. The natural environment always has attracted me very much, it is no coincidence that I long for the forest, (to be) between the trees"..
What happened to the tree houses and the towers?
Local authorities were not amused to discover illegally built wooden structures in the public area and destroyed them. The structures also have been vandalized by unknown people. So most constructions have disappeared and Császár's creations mainly survive via pictures
The one in the Orczy Garden however, as far as I know, is currently still extant.
From autodidact to professional artist
As a young man Császár had no training in construction work or making art (he studied communication sciences). His artistic talent was noticed by a friend of the family when he was in his early twenties and in this way he got the opportunity to follow art classes and to join (in 2002) the Hungarian union of sculptors.
As far as I know, currently Császár is active in making visual art.
* Császár's wooden structures got attention in some expositions, like Unframed Landscapes (Dunaújváros, Zagreb, London, 2004)
* An exposition (Székesfehérvár, June 2008) was reported on the freshwindow weblog (which however is not available anymore on the internet)
picture courtesy of the hungarian freshwindow weblog
(not available anymore)
Documentation* Interview (in Hungarian) with Péter Császár by Ágnes Veronika Tóth on Balkon website
Treehouses and wooden towers
around Budapest, Hungary
most constructions have been demolished