Restaurant Under | Europe’s first underwater restaurant
At the most southern point of the Norwegian coastline by the village of Båly, Snøhetta has designed Europe’s very first underwater restaurant, dubbed Under. With its immediate proximity with the forces of nature, the restaurant, which will also function as a research centre for marine life, is a tribute to the Norwegian coast and to the province Lindesnes, to the wild fauna of the sea and to the rocky coastline of Norway’s southern tip. The architect firm assures that Under will be fully integrated into the environment.
A sunken periscope
Under’s namesake holds a double meaning: In Norwegian, “under” can just as well be translated into “wonder.” Half-sunken into the sea, the building’s monolithic form breaks the water surface to lie against the craggy shoreline. More than an aquarium, the structure will become a part of its marine environment, coming to rest directly on the sea bed five meters below the water’s surface. With meter-thick concrete walls, the structure is built to withstand pressure and shock from the rugged sea conditions. Like a sunken periscope, the restaurant’s massive acrylic windows offer a view of the seabed as it changes throughout the seasons and varying weather conditions. The building will become an artificial mussel reef that functions dually to rinse the sea and naturally attract more marine life to its purified waters.
The building comfortably accommodates 100 guests. The entrance will be at the water’s edge and as visitors begin their journey to the restaurant they descend through three levels. From the entrance guests enter the wardrobe area. Guests are then ushered down one level to the champagne bar, which marks the transition between the shoreline and the ocean. This physical transformation is emphasized by a narrow acrylic window cutting vertically down through the restaurant levels. From the bar, guests can also look down at the seabed level of the restaurant, where two long dining tables and several smaller tables are placed in front of the large panoramic window.
Restaurant Under is designed by Snøhetta
Through its architecture, menu and mission of informing the public about the biodiversity of the sea, Under will provide an under-water experience inspiring a sense of awe and delight, activating all the senses – both physical and intellectual. Designed by the Oslo and New York based firm Snøhetta, amongst others also responsible for ‘the Barr’s’ interiors and visual identity for Noma restaurant group and currently also working at The French Laundry kitchen expansion and garden renovation in Yountville, California. It isn’t known yet when the restaurant will open, probably by the end of 2019, but you ca already watch the video here.