Friedensreich Hundertwasser

Tree tenants can be seen from far away and benefit many people, also those who walk around the house and dwell nearby.


The tree tenant symbolizes a turn in human history because he regains his rank as an important partner of man.


The relationship man - vegetation must have again religious dimensions. Only if you love the tree like yourself you will survive.


We suffocate in our cities through poison and lack of oxygen. We destroy systematically the vegetation which gives us life and lets us breathe. We walk alongside grey and sterile facades of houses. It is our duty to reinstall the rights of nature with all means.


Cars have chased the trees up into the storeys of houses.


We suffer daily from the aggressivity and the tyranny of our vertical sterile high walls. But streets in the cities will become green valleys where man can breathe freely again.


Tree tenants dwell inside the walls of the house in an area of about one square meter behind the windows.


The windows are set back and you can look at the tree tenant and outside.


The tree tenant has one cubic meter of soil at his disposal and can become quite big.


The tree tenant pays his rent in much more valuable currency than the humans.


1. Tree tenants create oxygen.


2. Tree tenants improve the city climate and the well being of dwellers.
They bring the needed moisture into the desert climate of the city, reduce the dry-humid and the cold-warm contrast.


3. Tree tenants act like vacuum cleaners. More so. They swallow even the finest and poisonous dust. There is less dust in the apartment and in the street.


4. Tree tenants swallow noise. They reduce the echoes of the city noise and create quietness.


5. Tree tenants protect you from outside view like curtains and create shelter.


6. Tree tenants give shadow in summer but let sunlight through in winter when leaves have fallen.


7. Butterflies and birds come back.


8. Beauty and joy of life come back. Living quality is improved with this piece of own nature.


9. The tree tenant is a symbol of reparation towards nature which is extremely visible. We restore to nature a tiny piece of the huge territories which man has taken away from nature illegally.


The tree tenant is a giver. It is a piece of nature, a piece of homeland, a piece of spontaneous vegetation in the anonymous and sterile city desert, a piece of nature which can develop without the rationalist control of man and his technology.


Written 1980/1991/1996

Published in:

Goritz, Christoph: Auseinandersetzung mit einer Wechselbeziehung. Leipzig: Ernst Klett Schulbuchverlag, 2002, p. 43 (excerpt).

Restany, Pierre: Hundertwasser. New York: Parkstone Press International, 2008, p. 185

Information Kit for Hundertwasser-Path, Fernwärme Wien, Vienna, 2009 (German)