Our Inspiration – Black Pine
Mataī (Black Pine)
‘Fine grained, easy to work with, commonly found in the company of other species’
Black Pine’s name is a reference to a significant tree in the Whanganui region, where Black Pine Architects are based. It reference’s our environment, a key driver in our designs & material selections. And it is a reference to the interconnectedness of our lives and how we, knowingly or not, rely on each other for survival.
The Mataī tree is found growing in and around the Whanganui river valley. The tree, like us, is an integral part of the environment and it’s timber has been used for generations to provide shelter and protection for our community
In more detail:
Our name was inspired by the mighty Mataī Tree.
Colloquially known as ‘Black Pine’, it is a significant tree, growing up to 33 m high and thought to have a life span of up to 1000 years. The tree is easily recognised by the large flakes of bark that shed to give a hammer-marked appearance, revealing a bright red inner bark.
Mataī is a podocarp found growing (amongst other places) in the upper reaches of the Whanganui River. Together with Totara, Rimu and Miro it forms part of the high level bush canopy. The berries form part of the diet for kererū (NZ’s native Wood Pidgeon) and other native birds.
Mature Mataī is one of the finest native tree species, producing mostly heartwood, of straight grain and with a fine, uniform, even texture. The timber is easily worked with both machine and also hand tools, and has excellent wearability and hardness.
“E rere kau mai te Āwanui
Mai i te Kāhui maunga ki Tangaroa
Kō au te Āwa, kō te Āwa kō au.”
“The great river flows
From the mountains to the sea
I am the river, the river is me.”
“This whakataukī (proverb) speaks of the awa, the river, as an indivisible and living whole from the mountains to the sea, its tributaries and all its physical and spiritual elements. It speaks of the indivisible connection that we have as people, all people, to the life that comes from water.”