First European Under Water Restaurant Opened In Norway, And It’s Breathtaking!

The first European underwater restaurant, cleverly named Under, has opened its doors in Norway. It is the world’s biggest underwater restaurant and seats up to 100 guests. At the same time it also functions as a research center for marine biology. Under has a massive panoramic window that offers a view of the seabed as it changes throughout the season and shifting weather conditions. The restaurant, Snøhetta-designed, has opened for business 6 months ago and many have already planned a visit.

 

Image credits: Ivar Kvaal

The Norwegian word ‘under’ means ‘below’ as well as ‘wonder’. The restaurant rests on a seabed and is half way below sea level. The concrete shell functions as an artificial reef, making the restaurant eventually fully integrate with its marine environment. These firm concrete walls can endure pressure and shock from the rough sea conditions.

Image credits: Ivar Kvaal

Under is a natural progression of our experimentation with boundaries,” Snøhetta Founder and Architect, Kjetil Trædal Thorsen said. “As a new landmark for Southern Norway, Under proposes unexpected combinations of pronouns and prepositions, and challenges what determines a person’s physical placement in their environment.”

Image credits: Ivar Kvaal

“In this modern architecture building, you may find yourself underwater, over the seabed, between land and sea. This will offer you new perspectives and ways of seeing the world, both beyond and beneath the waterline.”

Image credits: Ivar Kvaal

Nicolai Ellitsgaard, from the acclaimed restaurant Måltid in Kristiansand, is the head chef. He works with a team of 16 people who all have previously worked at top Michelin restaurants. The focus of the restaurant is to create a fine dining experience based on high quality, locally sourced produce, emphasizing on sustainable wildlife capture.

Image credits: Ivar Kvaal

Lindesnes, where the restaurant is located, is known for its varying weather conditions, which can be very intense. Several times a day the weather can change from calm to stormy. However, you’ll quickly forget the turbulent weather once you step into the oak-clad foyer and experience the warm and welcoming atmosphere in the restaurant.

Image credits: snohetta

While walking down the stairs, the ceiling references the colors of a sunset dropping into the ocean as a metaphor for descending from land to sea. An overall serene ambiance is present partly because of the unique design of finely woven ceiling panels. But it doesn’t end there; the furniture also represents the idea behind the whole project as well. They are solid structures that do not compromise the natural beauty of the raw materials.

Image credits: Ivar Kvaal

The contrast between the land and the sea as well as above as below is a story of contrasts, according to Snøhetta. This project highlights the delicate ecological balance between land and sea and draws attention to sustainable models for responsible consumption. It emphasizes the coexistence of life on land and in the sea and introduces a new way of understanding our relationship with our surrounding.

Image credits: underlindesnes

But let’s not forget that Under isn’t just a restaurant but also a marine research facility. Marine biology and the behavior of fish are studied by interdisciplinary research teams through cameras and other tools that are installed on and outside of the restaurant. Through this research they will be able to document behavior, population and diversity of species that live in the encompassing area. The ultimate goal is to collect data that can be programmed into a machine learning tools that monitor the population dynamics of key marine species on a regular basis.


Image credits: Ivar Kvaal

“For most of us, this is a totally new world experience. It’s not an aquarium, it’s the wildlife of the North Sea. That makes it much more interesting. It takes you directly into the wildness,” Rune Grasdal, lead architect of Undertold Dezeen. “If the weather is bad, it’s very rough. It’s a great experience, and to sit here and be safe, allowing the nature so close into you. It’s a very romantic and nice experience.”


Image credits: underlindesnes

“The idea was to make a tube that would bring people from above sea level down under the sea,” Grasdal said. “That transition is easy to understand, but it’s also the most effective way to do it. It also feels secure, but you don’t feel trapped.”


Image credits: under

Image credits: under


Image credits: Inger Marie Grini

Image credits: Inger Marie Grini
Image credits: underlindesnes


Image credits: underlindesnes

Image credits: http://www.ingermariegrini.no/


Image credits: Ivar Kvaal

Image credits: Ivar Kvaal

Image credits: underlindesnes


Image credits: Ivar Kvaal
Image credits: Ivar Kvaal

Image credits: Snøhetta
Image credits: Snøhetta

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