Snøhetta Reveals Design for Underwater Restaurant

The restaurant, appropriately named “Under,” will be located on the southern tip of Norway’s coastline.

underwater restaurant
Courtesy MIR and Snøhetta

The world is full of restaurant-topped skyscrapers, but a new project by Snøhetta promises to bring the dining experience to new depths.

The firm describes the design, which will feature three levels and accommodate 80 to 100 guests, as “Europe’s very first underwater restaurant.” The entrance, located adjacent a tidepool, leads to a wardrobe area, then to a champagne bar and finally the main dining area. The structure descends sixteen feet under the North Sea and features three-foot-thick concrete walls. An enormous acrylic window, 36 feet wide and 13 feet tall, will provide aquatic views. However, according to the firm, the vista will hardly be static, as the seabed will change with the seasons and weather.

As for the fare itself, “guests will enjoy the Danish chef Nicolai Ellitsgaard Pedersen’s high-quality cooking of locally sourced seafood, such as cod, lobster, and mussels including the specialty ‘truffle kelp’–a locally sourced kelp sort that tastes like truffles,” says Snøhetta. The interior’s palette of concrete, oak, and muted colors aim to evoke the natural environment’s dark and earthy tones. “With its immediate proximity with the forces of nature, the restaurant…is a tribute to the Norwegian coast and to Lindesnes–to the wild fauna of the sea and to the rocky coastline of Norway’s southern tip.”

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When not in use as a restaurant, the building will host scientists. “Researchers from Norwegian research centers will…seek to train wild fish with sound signals and will research whether fish behave differently throughout the shifting seasons,” says Snøhetta. “The researchers will also help create [optimal] conditions on the seabed so that fish and shellfish can thrive in proximity to the restaurant.” Indeed, the restaurant will “serve” the wildlife in both senses of the term: the structure’s concrete shell will be coarse on its exterior, creating ideal conditions for mussels to lodge themselves.

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