助理建筑师 羲和清零 052

Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling

Chapter 52: Chief

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The two standing in the middle of nowhere were completely motivated by the classic lines of the film “Apollo”. With adrenaline surging up, there was an endless stream of energy coming from deep within. They weren’t afraid of the cold wind. They weren’t afraid of nothingness. They can do it!

While Zhang Siyi took off his gloves and lifted his camera to start taking pictures, Lu Qiao took out a notebook to record the details of the surrounding roads and environment.

Although Zhang Siyi is still confused about the overall project, he thinks that as long as one starts the task in front of oneself, a clearer direction will emerge so one will know what to do next.

After more than an hour of busy work, Zhang Siyi had some clues…

This land is really vast, but it doesn’t necessarily develop all at once! Just like the planning project in the new district of Z City, they can make a rough plan for this land, divide it into small pieces, and then design the office building in the most conspicuous position. Isn’t that enough?

Thinking about the task further, Zhang Siyi realized the reason why the local government wanted to erect a landmark office building. First build the office building and smaller office buildings will follow in the surrounding plots to drive the economic growth in the area.  He looked around and imagined the established office building location. In the next five or ten years, more buildings will rise around it, like spring bamboo shoots, budding from the ground, rising, growing, and thriving…

Zhang Siyi was excited: “I know! I know what to do!”

Lu Qiao still doesn’t know what to do: “You do?”

Zhang Siyi points to the corner location of the block at the junction of Government Avenue and City Main road: “Over there! The office building should be in that position! Yes, because it is not a simple office building, it must be high!  It is a marker, similar Mo, as a symbolic existence, so the total construction area is small!”

Although Lu Qiao didn’t know that “mo” was, he understood Zhang Siyi’s meaning and quickly responded. He walked under the foot of the land: “This can be a commercial or landscape avenue, reserved in advance.”

Zhang Siyi nodded and stretched his arm out to point to another area: “This section can be used to build new homes to relocate existing residents.”

Lu Qiao ran around in the open space: “Here, the main road of the section that is separated from the center with a circular space in the middle.”

Zhang Siyi followed and ran over. The road network of the whole plot seemed to emerge in the mind with Lu Qiao’s words. He shouted: “Landscape and a fountain! It is better to have a fountain! There will definitely be a big lady dancing at night!”

Moving around the area feeling excited, they felt like a lord of the land. The impulse to yell into the sky and beat their chests like Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle, was great however, with their subsiding adrenaline, the two slowly calmed down and came to a standstill then squatted.

On the side of the road, a black commercial car with a license plate number 00 pulled up then stopped slowly. The door opened and there was two middle-aged persons, one fat and one thin man. The fat middle-aged man looked at the two young people moving around the base frowning: “Are those two over there the designers of Borderless architectural firm?”

The thin one had an idea and said: “Hey, let me call to confirm.”

Not far away, Zhang Siyi suddenly felt the phone in his trouser pocket vibrate.

He quickly stood up and took out his mobile phone. At a glance, he saw a strange number and thought that it was another messy intermediary call. He wanted to hang up, but he saw the call address displayed under the phone number. Luckily, he noticed as it was an address from C-City!

Lying groove, now the agency can track their location!?(#°Д°)

Zhang Siyi swiped the answer key on the phone and with attitude he answered the call: “Hello? Who is this!?”

There was a moment of silence and then he heard someone ask: ” Is this Mr. Zhang from Borderless?”

Zhang Siyi frowned. “I am. Who are you?”

The person on the phone said: “I am Mr. Jiang with the city planning bureau.”

Zhang Siyi: “…”

Lu Qiao on the side: “???”

Panicking on the side, waving, Zhang Siyi signaled to Lu Qiao to quiet down: “Jiang, Jiang Secretary!”

There was a pause on the phone then the man spoke: “I am not the director. I am a subordinate. In the morning, Director Gu from your company called Secretary Wang saying that you were going to evaluate the land. In order to make arrangements, he gave us your phone number. Chief Wang and I are on the edge of the designated land development area right now. Is that you in a gray-blue down jacket?”

Zhang Siyi quickly turned around and found the business car on the side of the road. He raised his hand in that direction: “Yes. I am here!”

Hanging up the phone, Zhang Siyi went to the business car with Lu Qiao and made a frantic expression: “Come on! The people of the Planning Bureau are coming!”

Lu Qiao followed up nervously and asked Zhang Siyi: “The person who just called you is the Chief?”

Since Zhang Siyi’s father is part of the government agency, he is well familiar with etiquette on dealing with officials. He isn’t afraid to talk to them.  Zhang Siyi responded: “No. He is in a lower office. We will call Director Jiang later. I’m guessing that he is the personal aid to the fat man who is secretary called Secretary Wang.”

Lu Qiao nodded his head again and again, and seemed a little more restrained.

Walking to the side of the road, Zhang Siyi changed his confounded expression to one of serenity and respectfully said: “Secretary Wang, director Jiang.”

The two smiled and nodded, and sure enough, he wasn’t wrong.

First, director Wang shook hands with Zhang Siyi and Lu Qiao, and greeted him politely. then he frowned, “How old are you?” The design of this office building is yours to do?”

Secretary Wang first shook hands with Zhang Siyi then Lu Qiao, and greeted them politely. He frowned: “How old are you? Are you in charge of designing the office building?”

As Lu Qiao was about to answer “yes”, Zhang Siyi waved him off and interrupted him. He took a step forward and presented his business card to Secretary Wang. “No, no. I am just a small assistant. Director Gu was busy with work so he sent us here to evaluate the designated area to be developed. The design is mainly for him to do.”

Lu Qiao: “…”

Secretary Wang looked a little bit sullen, and then he nodded with a smile. “This is also true. Director Gu is young and promising. He must be a busy man.”

Wondering why Gu Yu knows Secretary Wang, Zhang Siyi listened to Secretary Wang’s explanation: “Two years ago I attended the selection of a new district planning bid. At the time the bid for L-City project was between the Design Institute and TJ Firm. Many people were in favor of the Design Institute plans, but later found out it was done by a recent Master’s graduate, not the design director. Yes, I am referring to your Director Gu. At that time, he was a fresh graduate and worked at the Design Institute. The people at the top felt that the plan was too big to be handed to someone so young, so they felt the project would not get the attention it needed to succeed. As a result, they choose the plan by the TJ Firm. However, young Gu left a lasting impression on me and I’ve always wanted to have an opportunity to work with him and now I do.”

Lu Qiao was shocked. If he had just blurted out that the design was done by them, then Secretary Wang would certainly feel that he was not paying enough attention to him… It was too close! Witnessing Zhang Siyi ability to read the situation properly and act accordingly, Lu Qiao looked at Zhang Siyi in admiration. 

Zhang Siyi listened to Wang’s remarks and was dumbfounded.  In his mind he went over the events not long ago that transpired during the Z-City planning bid. Even though Director Gu knew the final decision was prearranged, he still poured all of his efforts into the work. After overhearing the Chief and him talk in the bathroom, Zhang Siyi could not understand his attitude. He thought their efforts were in vain and that Gu Yu was deceiving them.

He recalled sitting with his father at home talking about the project bid and hearing him judge Gu Yu. He said that the discerning eye will remember Gu. Hard work is never going to be in vain and opportunities will come. Isn’t Secretary Wang the best proof?

Although the City Planning Bureau did not choose Gu Yu’s plan, Wang, the director of the C City Planning Bureau, remembered him and gave him a chance. However, Gu Yu passed on the opportunity he earned himself to Zhang Siyi and Lu Qiao.

In determination, Zhang Siyi squeezed his fists. He also wants to work as hard as Gu Yu would have done on this project to confirm Gu Yu’s decision was the correct one on letting him design the building. He went straight to the topic: “Secretary Wang, we have carefully looked at the area and there are a few questions we don’t understand. I would like to consult with you.”

 “If you have any questions, go ahead and ask.” Secretary Wang folded his arms.

Although Zhang Siyi has some ideas, he isn’t one hundred percent certain they are within the scope of the Officials’ needs. Now that the number one party is present, of course he should ask questions to clarify: “Can the office building be built anywhere on the designated development area?”

With a big arm motion Secretary Wang presented the landscape to them and nodded: “Yes, all of this land is owned by the government. It can be used casually.”

Zhang Siyi, Lu Qiao: “…”

Zhang Siyi pointed to the houses and asked: “What about the residents and farmland on the base?”

“It’ll be demolished to make way for the government office and cultural center in the future.” Secretary Wang responded. He touched his chin in thought and said: “It’s best to build both a youth cultural center and a cultural plaza.”

Hearing Secretary idea for the land development made Zhang Siyi heart grow brighter because the plan envisioned by Secretary Wang coincided with the ideas that they just had!

He also asked a few more questions about the types of buildings and purpose of the plots surrounding the new office building. Secretary Wang answered truthfully.

 After some questions and answers, Secretary Wang took a look at Zhang Siyi and smiled: “The questions asked by the young man in front of me are quite professional. This is almost the new year and you also rushed over to inspect the land. Is it not easy?”

Zhang Siyi humbly said: “Where there is work, that’s where we should be.”

“Hey, it’s getting late. Have you had lunch yet?” Secretary Wang did not wait for Zhang Siyi to answer. He turned to Director Jiang on the side and said: “Director Jiang, take Mr. Zhang and this……? “

Lu Qiao nervously said: “I, I am Lu Qiao.”

Secretary Wang smiled and went on: “Take them out to have a meal and then drive them around the city for the afternoon.” Like most officials with limited time, he lifted his wrist to look at his own watch concerned with the current hour.

Zhang Siyi hurriedly said: “Secretary Wang, you must be very busy. We will go eat on our own.”

Secretary Wang waved his hand. His words have already been spoken and thus, his subordinates would naturally follow suit.

Director Jiang immediately greeted Zhang Siyi and Lu Qiao and motioned them into the business car: “Mr. Zhang and Mr. Lu are the first time to come to our city. With cabbage stems, simmered duck, fried bean curd, old vegetables and potatoes, our local cuisine is a must!  Hey, I will take you to the best local restaurant here.”

Pretending to be polite, Zhang Siyi and Lu Qiao were hungry all morning. While listening to the names of all he dishes their stomachs rumbled. Salivating, they blinked at the Director and swallowed.

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