Europe’s first underwater restaurant planned in Norway
An architecture firm is working to bring Europe’s first underwater restaurant to Norway, housed inside a submerged concrete container that will double as an artificial mussel reef and marine research centre.
Norwegian design firm Snøhetta has unveiled plans for the underwater restaurant, called ‘Under’ on a craggy stretch of coastline at the southernmost tip of Norway, near the village of Båly.
The 100-cover restaurant will be housed inside a rectangular concrete box that juts out of the ocean and stretches five metres below the surface, and will feature an observation window into the North Atlantic.
“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. 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,” the team said of its creation.
The structure itself will have one metre thick walls in order for it to withstand pressure and shock from its rugged location, and will double as an artificial mussel reef and marine research centre, with marine biologists working in-house to maintain optimum conditions on the seabed so that fish and shellfish can “thrive in proximity to the restaurant”.
While in the early stages of conception, the restaurant itself will have a Champagne bar, as well as a main restaurant with a menu that will presumably focus on seafood.
“Muted lighting from the inside of the restaurant and installed on the seabed will help stage the wildlife flourishing on the sandbank outside the 11 x 4-meter panoramic acrylic window,” explains Snøhetta. “Informational plaques will be mounted alongside the trail leading guests to the restaurant entrance at the water’s edge. This informational path tells a story about marine biodiversity and the Norwegian coast, weaving the narrative of the site into the overall restaurant experience, and ends at a ramp up to the restaurant.”
The team hopes to begin construction next year, with a view to opening in 2019.