[black granite tombstone]
    This project is triggered by the investigation of a black granite tombstone in Woodlawn Cemetery. The polished black granite surface is so reflective that the etching on it can convey information without adding extra color. The contrast between rough and polished surface of the black granite is further explored and utilize in the Penn Station extension.
    Most of the black granite tombstone here in New York comes from quarries in Shanxi China. Black granite was drilled, splitted, cutted, moved to the factory, then polished, etched, packed, and shipped to the US. The most dense quality Chinese black granite is known as Shanxi Black. It is quarried at Datong with production of 10K cu.m. per year, between February and October to avoid the severe climate at the 2000m elevation. It is then shipped to various destinations across the globe.
    Although black granite is popular in the use of countertops and other building capacities, it has traditionally been used for tombstones and other monumental items. Due to its durability and striking natural beauty, this material has also been used in many monuments, including Vietnam Memorials in Washington, Astronaut Memorial at the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida and Atom Bomb Victims Memorial in Hiroshima. These monuments utilize either the reflection of the polished surface to merge themselves into the natural surroundings, or the rough surface as dark and durable floor for moments of repose.

[Penn Station extension]
    The old Penn station used to be an urban living room. Whereas, in 1964, Penn Station went through the demolition, with Madison Square Garden landing right on top of the train level. The main waiting room with which people remember Penn Station, then no longer exist. The current station is purely driven by the efficiency of movement, without any extra place to stay.
    I start to think about how black granite - a very monumental, memorial, everlasting material, would situate itself within the temporary, fast changing, chaotic context at the existing Penn Station.
    In order to establish new connections in the decentralized context, and to produce a new face of Penn station with which people can remember it, this project first utilizes the reflectivity of the polished black granite at an urban scale.
    The extension is a free standing, diamond looking object landed on the site. While maintaining the permeability of the site, it reflects and speaks to the context with its angled surfaces. It collects images from the surroundings and visually stitches the elements together, especially juxtaposing the MSG and the Moynihan Hall, which respectively represent different eras and identities. Apart from visually tying things together, the extension also shelters the  new transitional concourse inbetween Moynihan and Madison Square Garden. It creates visual and circulational connections across levels, drawing people’s attention to this new entry way.
    This object might look non-referential, but instead its proposing something quite the opposite inside. It tries to bring back the missing part of Penn Station after the demolition, in the form of an outdoor water garden. It acknowledges the part of Penn station as a machine of fast movement, and add back the part of Penn Station as civic space which is the opposite of efficiency. It created another reality that allows a moment of repose, encounter or contemplation. It also contrast Madison Square Garden being not a garden. Unpolished black granite is the major material to construct the internalized water garden. It hosts plants that change seasonally. It carries water that falls down and mute the sound of the city. It offers intimate occupiable spaces for people.
    In between the inner perimeter and the outer perimeter, there are two intertwining circulations that connects all the indoor and outdoor programs including reading area, meditation hall, tea room and gift shop. The outdoor circulation is designed with stairs, while the indoor uses ADA accessible ramps, adaptable to be a gallery space.
    In the specific context of Penn Station, black granite establish visual and circulational connections, and add back a civic space that has been missing after the demolition of the old Penn Station.