Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling
Chapter 131: Slice of Pie
In a flash, the May holiday was officially over and on May third, the three men flew back home to Haicheng. After arriving at their apartment, while Gu Yu went to pickup townhouse from the pet hotel, Zhang Siyi organized his photographs. He separated all sixteen-gigs worth of photos into folders with labels and notes.
Even with a few embarrassing moments, Zhang Siyi thought the trip was a great success. The amount of information that he gained from staying at high-end hotels was a one-of-a-kind experience. He really valued his learning experience through his on-site viewing of the various cultural villages and especially Dai architecture.
All he can hope for now is that the project pass otherwise he going to be in debt and owe Tao Fei a lot of money! (=_=)
Seeing Zhang Siyi work so diligently, Gu Yu smiled. Given the late hour and how tired they were from their journey and the fact that they had to return to work tomorrow, Gu Yu and Zhang Siyi stayed in their own rooms for the night.
Early the next morning, Zhang Siyi went to work with the project in mind and determination to see it through. As soon as he arrived at the company, Tao Fei told him to meet him in the conference room. Hearing the fast speed in which Tao Fei spoke and in such a serious tone, Zhang Siyi thought something was wrong. …… Is it possible that Tao Fei also felt the pressure of ‘hotel expenses’? (=_=)
For the early stages of development of this project, there are only two of us. The first report is on May 15. Since Party-A will personally come to our company we won’t have to travel and thus, we have a total of eleven days to come up with a preliminary conceptual design which includes site planning as well as tourism design and architectural concept design…”
Zhang Siyi: “What is tourism design?”
Tao Fei: “Tourism design is specialized content that specifically aims to provide tourists with services. For example, at Jingmai Mountains. There were various supporting attractions around like Pu’er tea factory or visiting the ancient village and Lahu Family stockades. Not only do tourist want to visit a place, but they want to experience the place and make lasting memories as well. Architects design the environment by providing concepts for the supporting facilities and attractions. With regards to the implementation of tourism design, we don’t have to worry about it. There are travel design companies that specialize in building the content.
Zhang Siyi nodded: “Got it.”
Tao Fei: “Our mission isn’t easy. There are more than one-hundred hectares of site planning to do that cover a comprehensive high-end hotel concept design with twenty or more single high-end tourist villas. In addition, there is a green tea garden landscape design, a lookout tower landmark and other attractions.”
Hearing ‘more than one-hundred hectares’, Zhang Siyi realized the urgency of the matter. Although the land mass is half the size of the Z-City project, the Z-City plan utilized many people and 20 days to accomplish the proposal. With only the two of them to devise a concept and make a plan, will elven days be enough?
After Tao Fei finished speaking, he slapped the table with his hand and said: “Time is tight!”
Knowing the task at hand, Zhang Siyi balked and spit: “Who was the one that said it can be done in three to five days!?”
Tao Fei gave him a sideways glance: “We have three to five days of drawing but ten days to plan.”
Not feeling assured, Zhang Siyi looked at Tao Fei skeptically.
Noticing Zhang Siyi skepticism, Tao Fei explained: “We have to provide the concept of the entire plan, but we don’t have to draw the whole thing. Just one slice of pie.”
Zhang Siyi: “Aaahh!” Unexpectedly, Tao Fei ‘profound’ solution was to draw a slice of pie!
Zhang Siyi angrily said: “Are you kidding me? Isn’t it foolish to only draw one part?”
Tao Fei raised an eyebrow: “How is it foolish? The more detailed the slice is, the more attractive it will be and thus more tempting. Gu Yu said there are other companies vying for the bid on this project. If we present the entire plan and they decide they don’t like it, it is our loss of time and money.
Zhang Siyi: “…… That kind of thing…… is it alright?”
Tao Fei explained: “Of course, using a loop-hole is nothing new in the industry! So, lets plan a beautiful pie and draw a slice for the first time. Since the purpose of our slice is to showcase our design concept, it doesn’t matter if we finish the whole pie. Let them take a bite of our delicious pie. When they sign the contract and give us money, we can continue feeding them the whole thing.”
Zhang Siyi shook his head in disbelief. It’s really fucking sneaky! However, knowing that this black heart fat peach used his schemes on others made Zhang Siyi grin in delight. (≧▽≦)
Tao Fei: “Well, since it takes time and energy to draw a big pie, lets divide the responsibilities. I’ll work on the site planning and you determine the design concept for each section of the map.”
The design concept for each section of the map is a visual aid to show Party A the designer’s intentions for the entire plan. By including specific drawing details, color schemes and photographs, the designer can illustrate the plan without having to draw the whole thing. Once vetted, the designer can use Party-A comments and direct the overall plan in a better and satisfied direction.
After the division of labor, Tao Fei suddenly looked up and stared at Zhang Siyi with an imposing manner: “This project must be won!”
In seconds, Zhang Siyi knew what he wanted to express. He reached out and firmly said: “We will win!”
As comrades-in-arms, with a handshake they silently agreed. All for the hotel expenses!
Over the next period of time, both Tao Fei and Zhang Siyi began to work like a dog.
Surprisingly, Tao Fei’s workaholic mode was more severe than Gu Yu’s. In the first two days of developing the plan, they worked overtime until nine o’clock. On the third day, because Tao Fei didn’t want to be interrupted during his design phase, he brought his toiletries from home in order to stay overnight at the company.
The stability of food from the company’s bento at lunch and through the various take out places for dinner with late night snacks provided by the twenty-four-hour convenience store, Tao Fei was able to work through his ideas for eighteen hours without interference.
Influenced by Tao Fei’s determination and enthusiasm, Zhang Siyi also wanted to stay in the company overnight to work on the project. However, he is now a family man and can’t only do what he wants all the time. Every evening at ten o’clock, Gu Yu appeared at his desk to urge him to go home and sleep.
After a week of overtime, on May 11, Tao Fei’s plan was nearly finished. Excited, Zhang Siyi met with Tao Fei to discuss the plans. He pointed to various drawings and explained: “This is the villa area. Since it is built on the mountain, each villa will have a different layout depending on the terrain. Here, we can build an infinity-edge swimming pool so the countryside is connected with the skyline.”
Visualizing Tao Fei explanation in his mind, Zhang Siyi was really excited: “Great!” As he listened intently, he saw the road map of the pastoral countryside as if he had found a new world. Looking at the plan and realizing something, he confirmed it and asked: “Hey, is this the shape of the gourd?”
Tao Fei said: “Ha-ha, yes. Since there is a Lahu stockade nearby, I used the elements of the gourd. What do you think?”
Zhang Siyi: “Awesome! In fact, I think you can also use the gourd as street lights.”
“Well, write it down first and then let party A decide.” Tao Fei turned to ask Zhang Siyi: “How is your lookout tower design coming along?”
Sitting with his pile of design work and notes, Zhang Siyi took out the folder that contained his three different tower design concepts. Showing it to Tao Fei, he explained: “Using local materials and influenced by Dai architecture, the first concept is Bamboo House. I originally wanted to make a traditional tower, but decided to change the shape into something more like a gazebo and include a surrounding pond. With lotus flowers planted in the water and a surrounding fence, it creates an illusion of our homeland.
In thought, Tao Fei touched his chin: “Yes, the feeling of the tower makes me think of Toyo Ito’s designs.”
As if Tao Fei accurately read Zhang Siyi’s thoughts, Zhang Siyi was really excited: “Yes, that’s right. I was inspired by Toyo Ito’s designs and used the Dai usage of bamboo as textures for the building’s exterior.”
Tao Fei smiled at him: “I used to look down on you, but in fact your design concepts and thought process are very good!”
“Hey!” Zhang Siyi reactively pushed him on the shoulder then continued: “The second design concept is derived from the peacock’s feathers. The lookout tower is like a proud peacock, arrogantly standing tall. The tower body can be framed out with wood, but layered on top of it would be the fan shape of the peacock’s tail like broad fish scales….”
With Tao Fei’s repeated recognition of his abilities, Zhang Siyi was even more excited. It is the first time Zhang Siyi thought that doing architectural design is really fun!
As they were discussing the finer points of their concepts, Gu Yu came over from his office and interrupted: “Zhang Siyi, get ready. It’s time to go home.”
Having said so, Gu Yu returned to his office to gather his things. Because their momentum was suddenly broken, Zhang Siyi felt a little irritated. Putting his papers down, he went into Gu Yu’s office and said: “Boss, I want to stay up with Tao Fei and work on the project tonight.”
With a blank expression Gu Yu responded: “No.”
Confused, Zhang Siyi asked: “What? Why?”
He wasn’t expecting Gu Yu to disagree. Doesn’t it make all Bosses happy to have energetic and diligent subordinates? Keeping his public and private life separate, Gu Yu wouldn’t be jealous of this kind of thing, would he? Zhang Siyi wouldn’t be spending his night with Tao Fei in the same room!
“No, means no.” Gu Yu’s answer is a little overbearing. “The Yunnan project progress made thus far is very good. At this time, there is no urgent need to require two people to work overtime and stay up all night.”
Rubutting him, Zhang Siyi hurriedly said: “But we are going over our design ideas right now. If I stay for a couple days, we can prepare a better report.”
Gu Yu frowned: “It is not enough to work overtime until 10 o’clock every night? In order to wait for you, I had to change the time we walk to dog to the mornings.”
Specifically, in order to let Zhang Siyi sleep, Gu Yu got out of bed thirty minutes earlier to walk to dog alone. Zhang Siyi abandoned him in favor of staying up with Tao Fei. Moreover, if he stayed up so much, how efficient could his work actually be?
Wanting to persuade him further, Gu Yu was about to say something, but Zhang Siyi interrupted him instead: “Don’t mind me. Go on ahead without me.”
Started, in a flash a myriad of emotions appeared on Gu Yu face; surprise, dismay, anger. In the end, he only said: ”Do what you want.” Not giving Zhang Siyi any time to react, he immediately grabbed his briefcase, and left.
Suddenly, Zhang Siyi regretted his decision a little. He was caught off guard by Gu Yu’s cold demeanor. However, he didn’t know what it was that he said that was wrong. He thought he was being considerate by allowing Gu Yu to go home without him instead of taking up his time. Was that a mistake?
With a despondent expression, Zhang Siyi returned to Tao Fei to further discuss the project plans.
Noticing the change in behavior, Tao Fei asked: “What happened?”
Zhang Siyi quietly spoke to Tao Fei: “I told Gu Yu that I would stay up late with you and work overtime at night.”
Tao Fei snorted: “What? If you want to go back, you should go back. I’m a single dog so it doesn’t matter if I stay overnight in the company or not, but you aren’t the same. Where is my brother?”
“He already left.” Zhang Siyi said feeling wronged.
Tao Fei: “…..”
Clenching his teeth, Zhang Siyi stubbornly said: “I’m not going back. Since we work together, I ought to be able to share the joys and sorrows of the project with you. It is just a few more days.”
Speechless, Tao Fei looked at Zhang Siyi in surprise. Feeling touched by his admission, Tao Fei wrapped his arm around Zhang Siyi shoulder’s and said: “Let’s go!”