Believe it or not, there’s a tech mogul in China with quite a lot of gold-pressed latinum to spend who can honestly say that he shows up to work on-board the U.S.S. Enterprise. To elaborate, this extremely wealthy individual spent $160 million to show his Trekkie colors by creating an actual architectural tribute replicating the famous Star Trek flagship!
In an interesting tidbit found by Mashable, it seems that, in a testament to both Trek-dom and possibly the emerging Silicon Valley of China, the U.S.S. Enterprise has managed to manifest itself as an office building in Fujian. This testament to mankind/vanity-project is the brainchild of a man named DeJian Liu. Founder and Chairman of a software company, NetDragon WebSoft, Inc. Mr. Liu threw down quite a lot of dough in 2008 to make his company’s headquarters appear from the sky as a grounded replica of the famous saucer-saddled starship. The building was completed in 2014.
As far as ultimate Trekkie fantasies go, actually working on board the U.S.S. Enterprise easily tops other aspirations like Tribble car buffers and hotel mini bar bottles of Tranya. However, for Mr. Liu, the "ultimate" was quite feasible. Oh, and lest you think this to be some random lark of a project where the designs were "inspired" by Star Trek or just "coincidentally" resemble the famous vessel in some manner, stop right there. The building stands as an officially certified Star Trek knickknack, since Liu actually acquired the rights to the Enterprise’s image from CBS before breaking ground.
While there have been numerous ships across the Star Trek canon to carry the name, "Enterprise," including one in the rebooted film universe from J.J. Abrams, this one doesn’t quite seem to match up to any of them in the most precise sense. As the Mashable piece observes, the elongated saucer section seems to give it more of a resemblance to the Enterprise E from the films focusing on the Next Generation cast from Star Trek: First Contact and onward. However, there are plenty of other elements that seem to render the building a sort of hybrid; possibly due to ergonomic necessity.
According to measurements provided by Google Maps, the integrated "Enterprise" section of the building measures about 635 ft. long by 300 ft. wide. Thus, it may not be to exact hypothetical scale of a Federation starship, but it nevertheless stands as quite the monumental accomplishment. In a Google-esque manner, the building also apparently sports 30 foot slides granting quick ground-floor access and Trek-like automatic sliding gates separating the various work sections. Thus, besides the obvious futuristic exterior elements surrounding the faux-Federation flyer, there is a generalized utopian sci-fi aesthetic with bright colors and rounded edges that makes it seem much more than a simple Star Trek tribute.
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