At the southernmost point of the Norwegian coastline by the village of Båly, you will find the site of Europe’s first underwater restaurant aptly named ‘Under.’ Its name sounds simple enough, although it holds a double meaning. In Norwegian, “under” can be translated to “wonder.”
More than an aquarium, this architectural feat’s monolithic form breaks the water surface to lie against the craggy shoreline. It’s designed to become a part of its marine environment, coming to rest directly on the seabed five meters below the water’s surface. Like a sunken periscope, the restaurant’s massive panoramic windows offer a view of the seabed as it changes throughout the seasons and varying weather conditions.
The building’s sleek, streamlined form will invite mussels to cling on. Over time, as the mollusc community densifies, the submerged monolith will become an artificial mussel reef that functions dually to rinse the sea and naturally attract more marine life to its purified waters. The muted exterior lights will illuminate all for guests to see.
From its entrance, where the tide pool is swallowed by the sea, Under’s guests will enter the wardrobe area. Visitors are then ushered down one level to the champagne bar, which marks the transition between the shoreline and the ocean. 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. The restaurant can comfortably accommodate 80-100 guests.
Under will also welcome interdisciplinary research teams studying marine biology and fish behaviour. The researchers will help create optimum conditions on the seabed so that fish and shellfish can thrive in proximity to the restaurant.
Under is designed by the award-winning architect firm, Snøhetta and is set to open 2018-19. There’s no word on the menu, but I think it’s safe to say it will feature a plethora of seafood.
Source – Snøhetta