助理建筑师 羲和清零 103

Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling

Chapter 103: Canceled

______________________

After submitting the drawings to the HVAC department for final air conditioning and lighting configuration, Zhang Siyi was completely relieved. Once the evaluation was completed, Zhang Siyi only needed to make minor adjustments to the plans.

Feeling smug, Zhang Siyi was gloating in his accomplishment and with excessive energy, he was swiveling his seat back and forth. When he set his mind to it, just like that, the work wasn’t difficult and it was finished. – Ha! Top that Tao Fei! Let’s see who is his favorite now!

Zhang Siyi nearly jumped out of his seat when he heard the loud cry from Tao Fei. Separated by three rows of large desks, the distance was not close. Not knowing what happened, everyone raised their heads up from their work to look around.

Wanting to know more, Bi Lele slid her chair across the room to find out what happened then quickly rolled her chair back to her desk to report: “Wow! The new designer, Tao Fei, created a high-rise commercial center. It’s super cool!”

Hearing Bi Lele’s excitement, Zhang Siyi felt irritated. Cool is not the standard for judging the quality of a design. Since Borderless Group A has always been the more conservative group between Group A and B, anything could be ‘cool’ when comparing them to the normally conservative Group A.

However, Zhang Siyi can only speculate on the design style of Tao Fei by virtue of his education and not from personal experience looking at an example of Tao Fei work.

The prestigious University in the UK that he graduated from was known for design styles that were radical and not mainstream. Due to the University’s fame, Zhang Siyi and his classmates visited the graduation design exhibition. Marveling at the artistry in the exhibition, the designs were extraordinary, like buildings out of fairy tales or from another planet.

However, these types of buildings were rarely built. It wasn’t because they were bad, but because they were so controversial. The research and material exploration needed to solve construction problems were greater than constructing the building itself, resulting in those works to be too difficult to achieve. In Zhang Siyi’s eyes, this issue is contrary to Gu Yu’s relatively pragmatic philosophy.

Therefore, as soon as he heard Bi Lele’s ‘cool’, instinctively he was not optimistic. Of course, he could not absolve himself of his preconceived hostility towards Tao Fei.

Zhang Siyi was conflicted. Including Zhu Hongzhen and Yuan Zhicheng, his colleagues around the room were very excited. Wanting to know more, they all craned their necks over for a peek and asked: “How cool is it?”

Bi Lele explained with a gesture: “Rounded edges, curved lines, and long shapes, like a glutinous rice cake. Each layer of the plane is cut out and forms natural shaped bubbles.”

Everyone” Crowd: “…”

After hearing BI Lele’s description, everyone was even more curious. While Zhang Siyi sat at his desk, holding his ground, everyone else got up and went to look at the Tao Fei’s design.  After a brief time, one by one, everyone went back to their own desks looking thoughtful.

 Zhu Hongzhen said thoughtfully: “It is very good. A bit of Zaha style**.”

Yuan Zhicheng said: “I think it is Ma Yansong’s style**. Isn’t it like the Monroe Building**?”

Zhu Hongzhen shrugged: “Isn’t it the same thing?”

With excitement, Bi Lele replied: “Our group finally has a dynamic designer.”

Yuan Zhicheng: “Are you saying Group A designs are ugly?”

Zhu Hongzhen said: “Economically constructed buildings that are environmentally friendly have a tendency to be simple. There isn’t much you can do to get around it.”

Be Lele nodded: “Now that we have Peach Brother on our side, Child Labor team will be surprised!”

Yuan Zhicheng raised his eyes and asked: “When did you give him a nickname?”

Bi Lele: “It’s not me. The people next to Tao Fei are calling him Peach Brother. He seems to be as big as Ji Feiyu.”

Zhang Siyi: “……” – Even if it’s a slang term, why does Tao Fei get to be named sexy brother when I get named Auntie Four! Ah! Fuck, it’s not fair!

Noticing how quiet Zhang Siyi is, Zhu Hongzhen wondered if he wasn’t feeling well. Normally, Zhang Siyi was very outgoing and liked listening to office gossip, but now, he has been acting so gloomy and dazed that he is robotically drawing at his desk without interest in his surroundings.

Zhu Hongzhen thought Zhang Siyi was more nervous about his project because of its difficulty then initially anticipated so Zhang Siyi didn’t have time to speak with others. In contrast to his thoughts, at dinner the other Day, Zhu Hongzhen asked Du Rui about Zhang Siyi’s project and learned that it wasn’t the case at all.

Only recently has Zhang Siyi plunged himself into his work as if he was avoiding something. Was it something difficult outside of work? He couldn’t talk to coworkers? Was it the stress of Tao Fei’s presence? But, isn’t this reaction just too much?

Looking at Zhang Siyi in this way, Zhu Hongzhen is a little worried for his colleague. He still prefers the foolish, usually curious and occasionally lazy Aunt Four. Zhu Hongzhen couldn’t help but ask: “Four, why don’t you go see Tao Fei’s design?”

While looking at the computer with a serious face, pretended to be working hard, Zhang Siyi perfunctory replied: “I am a little busy right now. I’ll go see it later.”

Zhu Hongzhen: “Oh……”

Listening to the description of Tao Fei’s design, he knew it was strange and won’t be built, so he never planned on looking at it. Furthermore, he was the man who finished a set of construction plans ahead of schedule. Last year at the meeting, Secretary Wang mentioned they were planning on breaking ground in April this year. Soon, he will be an architect with actual works!

With this self-inflating sense of satisfaction and recognition, Zhang Siyi opened a web browser. He looked around him and saw everyone busy with their own work so he cautiously typed in the search…… Monroe Building…… What does it look like again? Hmm…….

Being completely absorbed in what he was doing, he jerked with fright when he suddenly heard his name being called by Gu Yu from behind: “Zhang Siyi……”

Gu Yu tone was very serious causing Zhang Siyi to think his internet usage was discovered. He quickly cancelled the web browser window then turned around to face him. Seeing his solemn expression, Zhang Siyi was taken back for a brief moment, then thought to himself: What is there to be afraid of? I have finished my project.

“…… Come to my office.” Gu Yu flatly commanded, then turned and went back.

The more Zhang Siyi thought about his Boss coming out of his office to personally ask for him instead of using the internal private messaging system, the more his anxiety rose. He took his completed stack of blueprints that were just printed this morning and walked into Gu Yu’s office.

As Zhang Siyi entered Gu Yu’s office, he saw Gu Yu sitting at his desk with a slight frown which made Zhang Siyi a little nervous. He handed over the thick stack of drawings and said: “I have finished the plans for the office building this morning. I didn’t get the chance to tell you earlier but, these are the latest drawings.”

With Du Rui guidance, Zhang Siyi was very confident in his own plans. The righteous and solemn expression he carried seemed to say ‘I have completed the work! See how great and diligent I am?’

However, when Gu Yu listened to Zhang Siyi speak, his brows furrowed deeper.

Gu Yu slightly moved his lips, but remained silent. As Zhang Siyi handed the drawings to him, Gu Yu looked down at the stack of papers in his hands.

One by one, from the plane sections to the details, Gu Yu looked very carefully at each paper. Every so often he would take his pencil and hesitate, as if to make corrections, but ultimately, he wrote nothing.

Zhang Siyi doesn’t know if there are either problems with the drawings, or if Gu Yu has a problem but doesn’t want to make a mark on his drawings.

After not seeing Gu Yu for nearly half the month, Zhang Siyi greedily soaked in Gu Yu’s being. He inspected Gu Yu intently, from his fingers holding the pencil, to his pronounced wrist bones, the clean cuffs of his shirt, though his powerful arms hidden under his sleeve, into his shoulder revealing his collar, and his sexy throat. He could feel himself heating up and waiting in anticipation for approval……

“You……” Gu Yu suddenly raised his head and asked: “……have drawn to this point? Why didn’t you show it to me before?”

Gu Yu’s loud and firm voice brought Zhang Siyi out of his reverie. Even though Zhang Siyi was surprised, he calmly explained: “Since Du Rui helped supervise, I let her look over my work. You were always too busy, so I was going to show you after the HVAC department configured the air conditioner.”

The more Zhang Siyi spoke, the more his confidence grew, and the more correct his logic seemed to be. Gu Yu was busy with a business trip for four days. Then he was busy all the time with the Tao Fei. He is also busy at company meetings and other tasks. What spare time does Gu Yu have to meet with him for feedback?

Gu Yu looked straight at him and asked bluntly, “Have you been avoiding me lately?

“…..” Zhang Siyi panicked and instinctively denied him: “I didn’t…. Why should I hide from you?”

Gu Yu’s eyes locked onto Zhang Siyi preventing Zhang Siyi from avoiding Gu Yu line of sight. With his fingers tightly clasping the stack of papers, Gu Yu replied firmly: “I let Du Rui teach you some basic common knowledge because she has a lot of experience drawing construction plans and is able to oversee your progress, not so she can make the final decision for you. In the meantime, I sent a message almost every day asking for your progress report and every day, you said you were still working on the plans, but now, you suddenly say you are finished?”

Defensively, Zhang Siyi retorted: “It’s not the same……”

Gu Yu suddenly interrupted him: “Zhang Siyi, with work, communication is most important. What is the matter with you recently?”

Zhang Siyi started turning red with anger. -How can you say I am avoiding you when you and Tao Fei are inseparable!?  I fixed it myself and saved you the trouble!

Admitting it to himself, he was being somewhat unreasonable, however unless he hid his inner turmoil from Gu Yu, he is afraid his feelings would be revealed and Gu Yu would come to resent him.

Gu Yu exhaled wearily and put down his pen. He set aside the stack of drawing and said quietly: “The office building will not be built.”

Zhang Siyi didn’t react: “What? Why?” He thought Gu Yu’s blunt verdict was because he was angry with him.

Then Gu Yu explained the reason: “I got a call from Secretary Wang this morning. They received notification from the State to suspend any construction being done in the name of the government and thus, this set of drawings are no longer needed.”

The shock to Zhang Siyi was like having a bucket of ice water thrown on him. Now pale, the blood drained from his face and he sat still. Because of his recent emotion turmoil, for the last two weeks, Zhang Siyi ignored his feelings and focused his energy into both work and finding an apartment. Even though he was exhausted, he thought as long as he worked hard, the achievement at the end was worth the struggle.

With his improved drawing skills and steady progress, Zhang Siyi had become stronger and self-confident. As long as he continued progressing, he doesn’t feel like he needed anyone. But at the last minute, in the moment he was about to see a staged victory, his goal suddenly disappeared.

Without making a sound and sitting motionless, Zhang Siyi felt the world collapse right underneath him and a black abyss swallowed him whole. What is the meaning of his employment? What status does he have in the company? He didn’t know what to do. He didn’t know anything.

________________________________

T/N:  

Zaha style: https://www.architecturaldigest.com/zaha-hadid-architecture-buildings

Ma Yansong style: https://www.archdaily.com/799981/spotlight-ma-yansong

Based on the description, I think this is the Monroe Building the characters are referencing.

21 Comments

    1. Oh wow, I recognized those towers instantly since I live a few minutes drive from them, and I have a friend who lives in one of them! I knew it was a Chinese developer, but had no idea they were so renowned–at least to be referenced in this novel, haha. People around here either refer to them as the Monroe buildings or the Coke bottle buildings ’cause of the shape lol.

      Thanks as always for your hard work!

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Hmm, don’t missunderstand. Those buildings are called the ‘Absolute World buildings’ and are built by a Canadian company. They also have the nickname of the Marilyn Monroe buildings. It just seemed to fit with the story.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Constructed by a Canadian company, but designed by the same architect cited in the story, Ma Yansong, so it seems like a reference to the very same buildings!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Isnt this a bit mean.. Gu Yu can just tell him

    Poor ZSY I know its his fault but again.. I am kinda sceptical about Gu Yu’s way of showing care and affection

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Thanks for the chapter. I feel sorry for Zhang Siyi. So hard to feel like you are hanging on and then the other shoe drops so everything just feels hopeless.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. wahhhh 😭😭😭
    when the achievement will be achieved and suddenly the boom is destroyed instantly. sorry for ZSY.
    I am annoyed with GY’s attitude 😧

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Worst feeling ever,when everything went haywire and u were reprimanded by ur crush.
    Instead of thinking how ZSY is feeling GY is taking out his unhappiness on ZSY tsk tsk

    Like

  5. GY, can u not scold him? He’s already miserable… Ur act made him more down. If i am ZSY i will very shock and crying on the spot. Just comfort him pls… Poor ZSY. He’s already tired metally and physically 😭

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Gu Yu’s a bit of an asshole here. He knows Zhang Siyi’s best friend just left and that he’s struggling to find a new place, and yet he made it sound like Siyi was being careless with his work ethic (when that is really not the case here!) For a supposedly intelligent person, Gu Yu lacks a lot in emotional intelligence 😐 I hope this gets resolved soon…

    Like

  7. I feel like a lot of people are acting like Gu Yu was being mean or something, but Zhang Siyi also didn’t communicate about his work with him like he should because of personal feelings. GY may have romantic interest in ZS, but he’s still his boss. He can’t use kid gloves with him. I understand the stress ZS is under, but I feel GY wasn’t being excessive nor was he unreasonable. If ZS wants to be babied, it has to be during off hours.

    Like

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