助理建筑师 羲和清零 026

Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling

Chapter 26: The Standard


Before Zhang Siyi had time to react, Gu Yu first spoke: “Are you awake?”

With a muddled head, Zhang Siyi responded with a sleepy “Hmmmm”. With facial contours cast in shadow from the bright lights behind, he saw the figure of Gu Yu standing above him.

“Did you sleep all right? “Gu Yu’s voice is a little hoarse.

Zhang Siyi sat up, his brain was still dull, and he couldn’t figure out the situation: “Okay, what time…”

“It’s almost nine o’clock,” Gu Yu stood up and said, “I bought you breakfast and woke you up. Go wash your face and come and have something to eat.” He then left the room.

Shit! It’s almost 9: 00? Doesn’t that mean it’s almost time to work? Zhang Siyi quickly put on his socks and shoes and went to the bathroom.

When the cold water splashed his face, Zhang Siyi felt invigorated and excited, but something wasn’t quite right. Now that he was awake, his mind was processing the events that just transpired.

Gu Yu was going to ask him to get up for breakfast. He was not awake, but then he woke up. Then, thinking about what woke him up, the sensation he felt was of something soft touching his face. And when he opened his eyes, he and saw Gu Yu face cloaked in shadow right above him. Gu Yu was very close, and it was not like the type of distance that a boss would call for his subordinate to get up…

If he didn’t wake up at the time? What was he doing? Zhang Siyi’s head is in a cloud, and the whole person has a very strange feeling. Thinking that Gu Yu may have touched him, he neither feels sick or weird, but instead he felt nervous, shy and a kind of anticipation.

Feeling confused he further thought about the situation. How could Gu Yu touch him? Maybe he was trying to wake him up vigorously! It must be that Zhang Siyi has confused his dreams with reality.

After washing his face, he went back to his desk. On the large discussion table Zhang Siyi saw a series of small breakfast bags. He grabbed one with soy milk and buns, then went to his seat. He noticed Zhu Hongzhen next to him with dull eyes staring off into space and slowly biting a roast chicken rice ball and chewing it mechanically. “You stayed up all night?”

Zhu Hongzhen gave a simple “hmm” sound. In these last three days, his normally round and shiny fat face is like a white bone sucking away the essence, dry and dull.

Bi Lele wore a blanket on her back and was sleeping on her desk. Yuan Zhicheng was also sleeping on his desk with his chin poking out of his blanket. Many non-project team colleagues have come to work in the morning and saw the clear evidence for their overnight stay. Sympathetic staff members have expressed their condolences.

Trying to stay quiet, Zhang Siyi tipped-toed over to see the text on Bi Lele’s screen. This move woke her up. Zhang Siyi quickly raised his hands and made a surrender: “Sorry, I woke you.”

Bi Lele rubbed her eyes and said Feebly, “It’s all right, I didn’t fall asleep much, and I didn’t finish it at all.” With that, she grabbed the mouse and continued working.

Zhang Siyi looked at this girl who usually jokes around and loves gossip and sees a very tired, unkempt, quiet girl instead. The whole person exudes an indestructible energy from the inside and out just like being criticized and still refusing to accept it. Zhang Siyi exhausted spirit also feels the sway of Bi Lele determination.

“Do you want to see it?” Bi Lele smiled and showed Zhang Siyi the results that have been completed.

Okay!” Zhang Siyi pulled over an office chair.

Bi Lele started from the beginning. The first one shows the urban texture map of Z City which is adjusted to blue gray scale. There are black graphics to enhance the text. There is a small white line and a row of English in bright colors. It has a very dignified, clean-cut look. Then there is poetic quote, a guideline related to “water”, accompanied by the artistic landscape of Bi Lele –

Water is the source of life,

Water is a symbol of wealth.

A field of water protection will be green around,

Two mountain Pai send the youth to come.

City, born of water.

Zhang Siyi saw that when he translated yesterday, there was no such thing as “a water-protecting field will be green, and two mountains will be sent to Qinghai.” He asked: “Did you add these?”

Bi Lele: “No, after you went to sleep, the boss came over and looked at it. He asked me to add it and said it is Wang Anshi’s poem, expressing the relationship between water and homeland.”

Indeed, Z City has a major water way effecting the surrounding land. Because of serious water pollution, there are large areas of farmland surrounded by sewage. The leading port divides the plot and fragments the land. It makes people want to sigh.

The two poems Gu Yu included added a finishing touch, not only making the scrolls more poetic, but also directly presenting their vision of the new district to the audience. Sure enough, after the introduction, the next big picture is the aerial view of the plan they made.

A total of 250 hectares of land has been layout in an orderly manner. Under the renderings of the rendering company, the whole area is surrounded by clouds and the atmosphere is magnificent. The leading port is surrounded by blue waves.

Zhang Siyi shocked: “it’s amazing…

Bi Lele perked up at the comment and her tiredness seem to fade: “Although there are no flowers, we are not bad, right?”

Zhang Siyi nodded desperately: “I think it looks better than the daffodil!”

Bi Lele laughed and said: “Ha ha ha, I like your honesty!” She went on, and there were quite a few colleagues around who came closer to watch.

From the initial planning background

After the bird’s eye view, the formal planning content is next and highlights the history of urban development starting from the initial planning background. It also includes the prospect of regional planning and the analysis of the regional state of affairs. Zhang Siyi saw that the photos he took were also put in and the color was sketched by Yuan Zhicheng. His heat jumped at the parallel display.

Then there is the planning function strategy, which mainly locates the plot attributes and major systems of the area. Followed by the specific urban design with spatial structure, landscape design, ecological design etc… Also included is the development timing, which is very logical in its implementation. Last, is the detailed block design and architectural style control which is where Zhang Siyi’s residential land plan is included.

At the end of the text, the company’s background and all the members involved in the project were introduced

Chief Designer: Gu Yu (national first-class registered architect)

Tong Heyi (Dr. Architecture)

Planning consultant: xxx (registered town planner)

Landscape planning: Chen xx

Designers: Ji Feiyu, Bi LeLe, Zhicheng, Zhu Hongzhen, Zhang Siyi……


Aah! aah! aah! aah!……!

Zhang Siyi’s eye locked onto his name in the group of people and felt such happiness. Zhang Siyi has a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment, he is not nothing and is also helpful to the team!

Although Bi Lele quickly turned the page over, it still couldn’t dispel Zhang Siyi’s feelings – his name appeared in such a big project! Zhang Siyi imagines himself holding the Pulitzer Prize trophy to the peak of life that day, flowers! Applause! Flash! Head held high!!!

Wait, Zhang Siyi noticed Child Labor’s name is also there.

He asked Bi Lele: “Is this not the plan of our group? Why is Tong Heyi also named as a chief designer?”

Bi Lele turned back and glanced at it. “Yeah, we’ve been involved together. It is reasonable to say that people in B Group should also be written after our names. Hey, this is not the point, the text is more powerful. It’s also a gimmick. I used to be asked to write a bunch of names of people who didn’t participate in the project.”

Zhang Siyi: “…”

Bi Lele: “The important thing is that after winning the bid, the bonuses are all in our group, hehe!”

Zhang Siyi was also excited. He asked Lele: “If there is, how many bonuses will there be?”

Bi Lele: “I don’t know. It is said that there are 800,000 bonuses for this bid. If the bid is 20%, it will be sent to the project team separately. There will be at least one or two thousand for each person.”

“Ah! One or two thousand! A lot!” Zhang Siyi excitedly rubbed his fingers. With the salary that he earned the rent for half a year is not used!

Bi Lele laughed at him: “Wait, there is more! The winning bid is only the beginning. It does not include the subsequent design fees.”

Zhang Siyi: “What is the design fee?”

Bi Lele: “This is a big piece of land and there are many phases of development. Now is only the planning phase. The subsequent phases will also need architectural designs. Even though it’s not a guarantee, because you already won the bid, the chances to win for other phases of the project increase. There are many things you can do later. It’s the tip of the iceberg!”

After Zhang Siyi heard Bi Lele explanation, he was on cloud nine. Anyway, he was a small salted fish. As Su Yuan said before, the company recruited him to start work. They didn’t expect him to hold up the fort alone.

As she spoke, the last page was displayed. With the same color palette as the cover, there were three English letters: End

Colleagues who watched behind them burst into applause. Everyone was full of confidence when they saw such a perfect bidding plan.

Bi Lele was both moved and emotional: “Tomorrow the bid starts and there are many details that haven’t been finished.”

Zhang Siyi asked, “Like what?”

Bi Lele flipped through the pages and rattled off a bunch of issues: “Ji Feiyu found a rendering company to do the night scenes, but they haven’t come out yet. The boss just finished the development capacity control last night. I have to P-Map, ah right also the ecology of the landscape. The water treatment plan needs to be put in….”

Bi Lele in a hurry she pulled up her sleeves and said: “No more talking! I must do it! Or it will be too late!” She had not slept all night, and in the morning, she had squinted on the table for a little while, but now she was completely invigorated.

Zhang Siyi was anxious to ask: “Is there anything I can help?”

Bi Lele: “ah? Then you translate the two poems that the boss added. Also, there was a map of the road system before.  There are several places where the colors are not right. You help me change it. Lu Qiao helped before, but he went to sleep and hasn’t returned yet.”

Zhang Siyi was infected by Bi Lele’s attitude of excellence, and he was full of fighting spirit: “Give it to me!” Maybe Lu Qiao did not follow the color of Bi Lele’s color palette yesterday. Although it is similar, it looks a bit strange, like the difference between genuine and pirated. When Zhang Siyi used software to adjust it, he also found out that Bi Lele’s color and matching techniques are very good. Her talents, such as planes and advertising design, may have a promising future.

After breakfast, Zhang Siyi helped with various tasks all morning that he felt out of breath. He never worked so hard. If he went to college with the same mindset as today…. No, no, no, don’t think about it. Stupid, the past can no longer comeback, and even if it was back again, the environment was so stress-less it was hard to find such great motivation. It’s really right to come here, Zhang Siyi thought happily.

With his intense focus, Zhang Siyi finally finished, only to realize that he had been holding back the Queen of the morning. After sending the picture to Bi Lele, he rushed to the toilet, pulled down his trousers and sat down on the toilet relieving his bladder. Suddenly sitting, he was feeling so comfortable… Now that he was there, he was feeling a little lazy and didn’t want to get up. Zhang Siyi suddenly heard a voice from far and near –

“Gu Yu, have you worked overtime in the whole group yesterday?” Is this voice a Chief?

“… Hmmm.” This is Gu Yu.

The director sighed and said: “I have told you that the selection is already fixed. The design institute does not want a conservative standard design, so I advise you not to fight too hard. The power of seventy or eighty is enough.”

Gu Yu seems to be silent for a while, then said: “I know.”

Chief: “Well, I can see your ability and hard work, but sometimes don’t be so stubborn…”

The two talked a few more words, Zhang Siyi sat in the cubicle. With the current atmosphere he dares not come out.

Default? The standard? What does this mean? Who has chosen this bid?

So, all of them were kept in the dark, toiling for this big half month just to be a cannon fodder for people? Are you sure you will lose? And Gu Yu knew all this but didn’t say anything!?

Zhang Siyi instantly fell from the brilliance of glory in the clouds to the bottom of a cold pit. He was shocked. When he didn’t hear any sounds outside, he stood up on numb feeling legs and opened the door. He saw Gu Yu standing in front of the sink facing his direction, surprised. “You have heard it.”

Zhang Siyi: “…” It was very unexpected to see Gu Yu still standing there. Zhang Siyi doesn’t know why he didn’t leave before or say anything. Watching Zhang Siyi appear from the stall gave Gu Yu a surprise.

Zhang Siyi wanted to pretend he didn’t hear anything but could not. Blood drained from his face and he accused Gu Yu: “Why hide from us?”

As soon as the remark came out, the anger in Zhang Siyi’s belly poured up, and the thought that a group of them were still scrambling to do their best, foolishly looking forward to the final victory, he suddenly felt that Gu Yu was too much.

Gu Yu looked at him and explained, “What matters is the process, not the result.”

Zhang Siyi hurriedly said: “Even if you know the result, if you let us do it, we will do it well!”

Gu Yu said: “That is not the same, letting and wanting are two different things.”

Zhang Siyi was choked by the remark, and suddenly roused his voice with anger: “So you’re not keeping it from us? Look at us work hard, full of hope, and then slapped in the face again. How many times will be able to return after feeling so disappointed?”

Gu Yu opened his mouth to refute, but was speechless for a moment.

Zhang Siyi: “Then I would rather fail in the initial group competition!”

Speaking of this, he suddenly remembered the back of Tong Heyi sad departure at the meeting that day, he asked: “She already knew?” What the director told you on Halloween was not a conflict in creative design, but news of an internal bid, right? She didn’t just leave because of the mood, you didn’t want to give up directly and took over the project!”

Gu Yu is silent. His face is very white with shades of blue under his eyes.

Zhang Siyi don’t know where he got the guts to confront Gu Yu. He dares question his boss so loudly.

Maybe it was because of all the hard work he and his coworkers have put into the project and maybe he wasn’t afraid, but he just wanted to release his emotions. He did not expect to hear a satisfactory answer from Gu Yu’s mouth.

Unexpectedly, Gu Yu was silent for a long while, and suddenly asked him: “Why are you doing architecture?”

Zhang Siyi was asked, what does this matter have to do with building?

Gu Yu also asked: “If you don’t win the bid, do you think that this half-month has no meaning?”

Zhang Siyi raised his voice, anxious: “Of course, but I don’t want to work hard for a false goal!”

Gu Yu staying calm responded: “Building this road, is not what you do this moment. The results can be seen in the next moment. This bid is not our end. If you are rushing to win the bid, it is not called hard work, but called utilitarian heart.”

Zhang Siyi is so angry-damn it. He wants to refute, but, damn it, Gu Yu is too eloquent!

At this moment, someone came, and the two did not stand in the toilet to continue the confrontation. Angry, Zhang Siyi’s legs carried him out one step at a time. He imagined that on each and every step he was stepping on Gu Yu.

Returning to the office, seeing everyone still immersed in work, like a group of fanatics who have been brainwashed by the sales organization, Zhang Siyi has another painful feeling. Everyone is drunk, and I am alone. Mourning his misfortune, he sighed.

Moments later, Gu Yu sent a message: “Don’t talk about this matter with the others. It will affect the morale of everyone.”

Zhang Siyi gnashed his teeth and knocked on the keyboard: “I didn’t intend to say it.” – He didn’t understand at all, since the results were all fixed, what’s the point!? How is everyone going to stay calm afterwards?!

Gu Yu said again: “Tomorrow, I will bring Ji Feiyu and Bi Lele to Z City. If you have nothing to do, you can go home this afternoon. You have worked many hours of overtime. You should have accumulated enough time for a holiday. Go think about things.”

6 thoughts on “助理建筑师 羲和清零 026

  1. Sooo realistic :/
    Thank you for the translation, it’s really a great read!
    I work in graphic desing, and every bit ofit feels so very real, this bidding thing, i’ve been there more than once, it’s so frustrating><
    Yet I completely understand gu yu, i can’t work half assed, it drains you out of your essence doing your best as a team makes you feel alive – the way matters so much more’ than the end
    In matter of personal development he’s such a great teacher 🙂

    Liked by 7 people

    1. I work in animation and also understand and agree with gu yu. If you do a pitch with the mentality of this is not going to win, then you wont be able to do your best and push your limits in order to grow your skills. That’s a very good workplace environment, I hope to work somewhere like that too

      Liked by 6 people

  2. Thanks for the chapter 😊😍Zhang Siyi is very immature but he is also very passionate. He makes me feel very helpless.


  3. “Thinking that Gu Yu may have touched him, he neither feels sick or weird, but instead he felt nervous, shy and a kind of anticipation.” – Zhang Siyi, straight as a pole.

    I think his Siyi’s brain is a bit overheated from intensive workload, once he gets some rest he will most likely understand his boss. This is a really amazing experience and even if the win is set in stone, a good project will still leave a good impression. Otherwise, if they show sloppy work they will be remembered as people who do sloppy work, regardless of the reasons.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s okay, this cannot be counted as waste. This is also an experience, another further step to perfection. And their team work also counts! But I really feel bad for the employees, hope they will soon adjust their mood.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s