Letting Go

I walked quietly in the courtyard of the guild. It was a rainy day, my mind was thinking hard, deciding things was not easy. My body was uncompromised with my thinking at that time because I was really tired, confused, and not thinking clear the situation around me made this mind wondering about what do I want for people, what is the priority about work, life and love. This situation is happening in one project in one sports complex, Gelora Bung Karno in Jakarta. I was requested to work on Archery, Football, Hockey buildings. There are 5 conditions happening that made me leave the project after we finished the design.

So there was a story when I was in the meeting with several architects and operator of the complex, which means discussing the project with deep thoughts and transparency because it is a public project. I asked the professionalism of being an architect to the parties because the first, of course that we need brief, and we need the standard operation of procedure of the sports complex. There is not any of that kind of thing, the brief was poorly prepared by verbal and the design was in the need to finish in several days, it’s like doing sprint, and I was ready with my team to answer the brief. I thought that it was normal for doing something like there is no schedule and there is no initial budget in a public project, the project was started in the beginning of March as far I can recall my memory. Each week became very disorganised, there was no proper brief, the discussion about the budget was not with chemistry. The intent of the project was very heroic in a way that there is no initial budget, and there is no schedule, that is the first and that is the second, and I still think, it is okay, I did it because of the dedication for this architect profession. That is the first and the second. The dateline was strict and short. From what I see in the gap, that Architecture programming will be very important, it shows certain standard, budgeting, the flow of people,goods, executive, degree of privacy. At the end, it is about the responsible to be professional. From this point of view, we did a certain study for programming, before starting the design, and doing several scenario of circulation, mass, and activity. It’s like I am very critical about this in the design group with another architect, I did this in a purpose of being responsible for design decision which I think this will support the team with the correct ground, doing grounded design and functional design. It’s about the basic of the design, nothing more.

I was thinking and asking about the responsibility becoming the architect, that in the public project, the selection need to be fair, and judged by the jury, or at least I hope being selected meaning by capability not by because I know some people in the league. I hope that there was a letter, or public announcement, because by having that, people can start an open judgement, I still think it is okay, I did it because the dedication for this profession. That is the third. Then, The project was exercised in two and half months already and using our resources, I was exhausted and my team was exhausted, we didn’t have the resource anymore to work on that project which has cost us 100 million in pay bill and thousands of working time in the team. The three conditions still happened, no budget, no fixed schedule, no public announcement. I was thinking how can I pay the bill, so I need to find projects, calling for friends who can give us work. They were glad to support us, and we can run our projects.

Then, I was called in one afternoon that tomorrow we have to attend a meeting, and there is only very short day to review the documents, the budget prepared by others. The drawing needs to be prepared consists of structure, mechanical, and architecture in the level of working drawing with no budget, and we need to review and prepare. At the end, I as the architect need to sign to that documents. There is small response among the team member of architects, it’s been said that we don’t complain, we just do the work, and everything needs to be done. I was thinking if we were given only 1 – 2 days to review the document, and the situation always happening like this, is it the right way to do the job  ? Can I be responsible for this document ? Have we completely checked it ? or Am I in the middle of the politic’s ripple ?

I remember one discussion with David, he said “You need to drop that project Realrich”, my friend, David talked to me in one evening in WhatsApp. “There is no need to sacrifice for you office and your family, this is not your battle, this is the battle of more senior architect who has established, but you are such elves kind like what Ary said” he mocked me. I also remember watching a video prepared by Anis in Omah in Glenn Murcutt’s interview at the end of the interview,he said: “If you feel it’s not right, and don’t do it.” That is the fourth, there is a huge risk for sacrificing family and my dear firm looking at previous sports complex which came to hand of government corruption watch. The fifth is about chemistry, there are well said words that we can be the success because of people around us. If there is no budget, no schedule, no honour, huge risk, and it still can be ok, if there is good chemistry, being backed up by good people, good clients, and full of positive energy, far from the blame game.

I discussed with the my right and left wings, and they told me that they weren’t happy we were experiencing this project, I tried to explain that It was my first time handling this kinda project, and I was so sorry for experiencing this, and trying to have a better condition in the office. I was so deeply sorry and was so sad because I didn’t like to disappoint them. I thought they need time, and I need time to recover. I talked to the designers, and seems they were okay with it, even though I knew that they were disappointed as well. It’s never been easy. After that, I told Septrio one of my left wing, my intention, he said something that made realise the priority. “Big brother, there are many people here to be taken care other than working on that project”

So finally my walk in the guild was over, In the name of my professionalism, I have done my best and finished the design, and I quit that project because the priority, Laurensia, Miracle, and my dear office, the advisors, the associates, designers, the supervisors, the builders, the librarians I love them, and I care about them. I felt very disappointed, but it’s okay, at that time it was 2 am in the middle of the night, Laurensia woke up, and I told her that I dropped the project, she said: “I am happy.” I felt blessed to be surrounded by them, As what the priority was experienced, the true value of professionalism experienced, what can I expect more ! I have learnt so much in this process. God Bless you all. I won’t give up.

“We fell in love, despite our differences, and once we did, something rare and beautiful was created. For me, love like that has only happened once, and that’s why every minute we spent together has been seared in my memory. I’ll never forget a single moment of it.”
― Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook

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