[su_heading size=”19″]There are Star Trek fans and there are Trekkies. And then there are Trekkies with vast financial resources that can take their fandom to a whole new level.[/su_heading]
Trekkies. They’re everywhere. And their unbridled adoration for the 50-year-old Star Trek franchise is stuff of legend. So, what happens when you are a super-rich businessman Trekkie? You build your office building in the shape of the USS Enterprise. Of course.
The unmistakable design is a 260-meter long, 100-meter wide, six-floor building that was built by mega Chinese online game developer NetDragon Websoft.
Company founder Liu Dejian, (also a board member of search giant Baidu) is a 43-year-old University of Kansas alumni and, as you’ve likely guessed, a huge Star Trek fan.
Based on the NetDragon’s account, Mr. Liu and his team took their task seriously, said the Wall Street Journal.
According to the company, executives didn’t make a building based on the Enterprise their first choice because much of it would have to be elevated. But one day, inspired by a poster for the franchise, they decided to put the giant ship on several columns, as if it had landed on the field for repairs.
Once NetDragon made its decision, it said, the company contacted U.S. media company which produces Star Trek, to secure the rights. “That was their first time dealing with issue like this and at first they thought that it was a joke,” said the company in an email.
“They realized somebody in China actually did want to work at a building modeled on the USS Enterprise only after we sent the relevant legal documents,” said the company. It didn’t disclose financial details.
To boldly go where no Chinese office building has gone before.
Interestingly, the company didn’t make a big deal about it –it was actually discovered via Google Earth following rumors of its existence. Once discovered, there erupted heated discussion online among Trekkies as to which ship it was based on.
It was after this that NetDragon came forth and clarified.
Though licensing details were not released, building construction cost $97 million and was inspired by the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-E, which appeared in three “Star Trek” movies in the late 1990s and early 2000s.. Construction first began in late October of 2010 and was completed in May of 2014.