Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling
Chapter 23: Light
Most of the people in the conference room reacted like Zhang Siyi. They were shocked by the image of the flower.
As Peng’s presentation continued people were immersed in the layout highlights and it seemed like everyone had some preconceived notions about the design. Many people weren’t paying attention to the details of Peng’s speech.
Anyway, it sounds almost the same as his teams’ plan with logical placement of buildings and utilities within the design layout. However, the similarities ended there. While Group A design was based on being cost effective within the guidelines of the rules and regulations. Group B design is solely based on dividing the whole plot through various roadways into a flower with each section becoming a petal.
The flower theme was derived from the Chinese Daffodil meaning rebirth and wealth. It is the flower of Z City. Peng Shuang introduced the flower theme because Group B wanted to capitalize on the flower’s meaning and infuse these essences into the city to create a new soul.
After Peng Shuang finished speaking, everyone expressed excitement. This kind of scheme is very eye-catching and innovative.
However, Zhang Siyi thought this scheme has problems. While many parts to the plan were like a mirror to his own group’s plan, there were parts that seemed impractical. He can’t tell if he feels this way because he is in the competing group or not.
At this moment, Gu Yu held his arm and calmly asked Peng Shuang: “What solutions do you have in the actual implementation and construction of the project?” Although this is only an internal meeting, not a real bid, it is good practice to debate the details in the plan in preparation for a live bid. Except for the people representing a design plan, normally everyone else are government officials or developers and they can ask as many questions as they want. The representing Group is required to give them reasonable explanations and answers.
Peng Shuangyi said, “This is not yet…”
He wanted to say, “we haven’t considered it yet”, but this is absolutely taboo when reporting, so Child Labor with relatively rich experience immediately interrupted him: “We are still considering it, and there are already some preliminary stages, but there isn’t an in-depth analysis yet.”
Gu Yu scrutinized the plan: “That can also be said about your preliminary ideas.”
Everyone was silent. Zhu Hongzhen touched Zhang Siyi’s arm with his elbow and used his eyes to indicate that “a good show is coming”.
Child Labor paused and said: “As a government-led first-phase plan, we envisioned starting the rectification process from the Longshui Port as the center and then proceeding east from the first petal and later develop in a clockwise order.”
Because of the dangers from the flood discharged at the current port, Group B changed it. The plan involved digging deep into the harbor, landfilling some of the surrounding geography and creating a circular concave lake. New islands would be built in the middle of “Longshui Lake” to house sewage treatment facilities and new environmentally protected areas.
Gu Yu asked Peng Shuang to switch the slide to the master plan map and with a red laser pointer pointing to the leading port road he asked: “Finishing the lake requires a lot of excavation earthwork and landfill earthwork. This first phase will inevitably affect the existing situation of the two divisions of Zhengbei and Zhengnan especially in the area to the south of the lake. If problems are caused during the repair period, the consequences will be disastrous.”
Child Labor: “You can let the residents first demolish the Yi house, move to the west, wait for the south to reorganize and then move back to the original place…”
Gu Yu also pointed to the route from the old city to the new area of the railway station and said: “According to the urban transportation demand, the first road to be developed is from northwest to southeast. The outline of these two petals, if you develop in the original plan, it seems a bit backwards.”
Child Labor was anxious to defend her position, but Gu Yu didn’t give her time to think about it. He continued: “The east, the south, and the west are all top issues. Doesn’t that mean simultaneous development?”
Child Labor: “Then develop synchronously!”
Gu Yu raised an eyebrow: “What is the overall cycle? Five years? Ten years? Can the government afford it?”
Child Labor has turned red: “The follow-up can be discussed again.”
Gu Yu took his city development map from his own folder and gently passed it to the other side. He also stood up and said: “The development of each city has its own rules, just like plant growth, any construction project needs a step by step implementation plan. The economic source and heart of Z City are now here,” he pointed to the core location of the old city and pointed to the new planned area. “The new area is poor in resources and backward in development, let alone change the overall landscape of the leading port. There will be more serious impacts. It is very difficult to ensure that the planning structure of this flower is not destroyed during the simultaneous development. If the flower has not yet been opened, it will have dragged down the development of the city and consumes it.”
Zhang Siyi secretly clenched his fists, yes, that’s it. Gu Yu completely said what he wanted to say!
Only when he went to the location personally did he feel the environment deeply and reflect on the expectations of the local people for life. He realized that the vision of the Child Labor Group is too far-fetched for the people of Z City now. For them, a beautiful garden city is not as good as a party. The important thing is not to build something beautiful, but to improve their quality of life.
Child Labor was silent for a moment, and she replied: “We don’t need to consider these for the time being. The government’s bidding is nothing more than planning creativity, and they have their own considerations for development and construction steps.”
Gu Yu solemnly said: “We don’t think about who to consider? Unless the local government has funds for a decade or more, the project can stagnate or even end since large-scale construction and development of various parts of the country is numerous. How likely will the project be built if it took years of determination to implement. Indeed, we are not decision makers, but I think that government tendering is more than just a beautiful design. If we have the corresponding expertise and capabilities, why can’t we contribute rationally and plan at the very beginning? It’s more feasible that way, isn’t it?”
His tone is not heavy, but every word is concise and logical. Sitting in the corner of the room, Zhang Siyi is staring at Gu Yu. It is like Gu Yu is the center sun and his body just issued a burst of light, enlightening all those around him.
He heard the roar of his heartbeat, and the time seemed to fall back to the past. The autumn of six years ago in the auditorium, a group of young teenagers sitting down and looked up at the arrogant son of Tiancheng. The champion of Ningcheng, standing on the high podium, calmly talking about his ideals and ambitions… Zhang Siyi sees Gu Yu in the same way as he did then: dazzling. Some people are born to wander, some people are born to shine and be followed.
Child Labor was dumbfounded by Gu Yu, and one of the chief architects’ present said, “The idea of a flower is good, but it is a bit idealistic.”
However, there are others who agree with the flower plan: “Child Labor is right, we don’t need to have an entire land staging plan for the initial proposal. As for the specific implementation, it is not something we need to consider. From my experience, the superiors also like beautiful plans. The scheme of the A Group is relatively conservative.
The conference room was caught in a debate with many opposing views. Both A Group and B Group project teams went back to the office. The Directors said that they would wait until after careful discussion before deciding which option to choose. Zhang Siyi and everyone returned to their seats and discussed it privately.
Bi Lele said: “Hey, I think Tong Heyi’s team plan is really pretty, and it is too shocking at first glance.”
Yuan Zhicheng: “If I didn’t listen to the boss and say those questions, I am the party I also choose the child labor group.”
Zhu Hongzhen said with emotion: “Yes, in this society that looks at the face, most people have become superficial.”
Bi Lele: “The problem is that it’s not easy to implement. Child Labor group plan is logical and professional.”
While waiting for the company’s upper level Directors to decide, Zhang Siyi was starting to feel a bit apprehensive. Although his contributions were as a “patch” and the plan didn’t have a huge visual impact, he hopes that this warship will sail in the direction chosen by Gu Yu. However, expectations always deviate from reality.
Before leaving work in the evening, the conclusion came out. The upper level of the company decided to move forwards with the plan from B Group and let Gu Yu help them do a reasonable construction and implementation plan. Everyone seems to have expected this ending and although the heart is frustrated, the surface is not very revealing. Only Zhang Siyi, like a huge blow, was devastated.
He remembered the hard work of walking all day, breaking his legs. He thought of Gu Yu’s patience when he asked the locals about the prospects of the new district’s planning. He thought of Gu Yu’s expression when eating biscuits and thought of him standing on the bank of the river… But now, it’s all gone. By a few words, the executives in the company easily negate what they’ve accomplished.
Afterwards, Gu Yu came over to comfort them. He let them relax and he joked. As long as they give some assistance in the follow-up process since its B Group plan to refine, most of them do not need to work overtime. Zhang Siyi was also notified, and he went back to drawing the parking lot. In the evening, Zhang Siyi returned home with a low mood, and his heart mixed.
Because Zhang Siyi rarely came home before 8pm, Fu Xinhui was really surprised to see him: “Hey! Get out! You are here.”
Zhang Siyi went to the side of the sofa than collapsed like a dead fish and did not want to say a word.
Barefooted, Fu Xinhui let him sit a little, then asked: “What’s the matter?”
Zhang Siyi didn’t move. He was staring into space. After two minutes, he said: “Oh, reality is too difficult…”
In a serious tone Fu Xinhui said: “Are you being fired?”
Zhang Siyi: “My ass, no!”
Zhang Siyi turned over with his back to Fu Xinhui and continued sulking. Not only is the reality cruel, but the road of architecture is far more difficult than Zhang Siyi imagined.
The real architect, neither a foolish scheme on the TV nor a lucky one-hit break, has a goal. In the biography of the master architects, those who are sitting in a mansion with a daily income of 10 million are the winners of life…
Most architects are ordinary people, they may be like Gu Yu and stay in a small office. Although they may have infinite knowledge about modern and ancient architecture and engineering issues like dealing with sewage problems, they aren’t invincible. Even a well-thought-out plan is deemed wasteful.
Zhang Siyi couldn’t help wonder, if he is standing in the position of Gu Yu now with the same result, would he be as calm as he is? …… No, he will be very depressed, very unwilling!
Zhang Si Yi collapsed on the sofa. He isn’t clear about his future. Is this what is means to be in architect? To accept defeat? This is the first time since entering the workplace that he feels so confused about his future in architecture. He Isn’t even at the level of his superiors, let alone the architectural maters he aspired to when he was studying. It was all a bunch of dreamy bubbles floating away. If this is what it means, then can he still proceed down this road? How far will he be able to take it?
Seeing Zhang Siyi’s mode of self-pity, Fu Xinfei kicked his ass fiercely: “Stupid! Get up! Let’s eat!”
Zhang Siyi: “…”
Fu Xinfei put on socks, swearing: “Shit. All 3 of us were originally going to live together because it was supposed to be fun. But now, every day with overtime, business trips, and a woman, I am like a widow!”
Zhang Si Yi rubbed his bruised butt, asked: “who found a woman? Jiang Hai?”
Fu Xinhui stood up and shouted: “Yes! While you’ve become a workaholic, two months ago, Jiang Hai met someone at his company. They have been out every night to eat!”
Zhang Siyi shocked: “Really? So Fast!” Didn’t he work overtime every day before? Why does he have time for a date suddenly?”
Fu Xinhui snorted: “He started working overtime because he was a newcomer. He was like how you are now, working all the time for your ruthless Boss. He has paid his dues already.”
Zhang Siyi was originally tortured by the cruelty of reality. Work is work. He cannot go to work unhappy. After work he is not happy. Ah!
Zhang Siyi bounced off the sofa: “I want to eat soy pork liver rice!”
Fu Xinhui saw that he was full of blood and resurrection. He smiled and whispered: “Idiot.”
The two of them went downstairs to get a quick bite to eat. Zhang Siyi was utterly disappointed with his food. Last time he went out was with Gu Yu eating sand tea noodles. Zhang Siyi lamented: “Hey I told you! That sand tea soup was the best ever. I will forever miss the taste.”
Fu Xinhui casually said: “Eh? Just go buy a plane ticket.”
Zhang Siyi feeling a bit depressed, thought about B Group flower plan, then convinced himself that if it is built, then he will be able to eat sand tea noodles again.
He looked at Fu Xinhui and asked: “Are you looking for a job? Doesn’t your family remind you?”
Fu Xinhui smiled and said: “They urged me to go to the company at home and work, but the company at home is also paid by my parents. It’s better to stay here.”
Zhang Siyi: “…”
Although Zhang Siyi isn’t convinced by Fu Xinhui words, he knows he has his own reasons and doesn’t say anything further. He heard Fu Xinhui say before that he has a sister that is eight years older then him. She went to the United States for a degree there and now works as the vice president of the family business.
However, Fu Xinhui’s relationship with his sister is not very good. His birth was unexpected in the family. After he was born, because he was a boy, he was always favored by some parents. His sister felt his existence was an insult to her status. As a result, Fu Xinhui gradually developed a less competitive temperament in order to give way to her.
Zhang Siyi is the only child. He can’t understand Fu Xinhui’s relationship with his sister. He doesn’t know what to say: “Would you not be bored when you stay at home every day? It’s good to get a job and do it “
Fu Xinhui: “well, even if I want to find a job, I look at you. You are working so hard…”