Plans unveiled for Europe's first underwater restaurant
Snøhetta has revealed plans for a novel new underwater restaurant named Under. Hailed as Europe's first underwater restaurant by the high-profile architecture firm, the building will be installed on the southernmost point of Norway's rugged coastline and offer guests a view of the seabed as they tuck into their dinner.
Under will be built partly above-ground and extend 5 m (16.4 ft) beneath the waves. To withstand the high water pressure and challenging conditions you'd expect in that part of the world, it will comprise 1 m (3.2 ft)-thick concrete walls and tough acrylic windows.
We've no word on its size, but Under's interior will be large enough to comfortably accommodate up to 100 guests. Visitors will descend from the shore-level entrance into the champagne bar below, then down another floor into the restaurant itself.
Muted lighting will be installed both inside the restaurant and out on the seabed to facilitate viewing of the local sea life. Diners will be served locally-sourced seafood prepared by Danish chef Nicolai Ellitsgaard Pedersen.
According to Snøhetta, "advanced heating pump technology" will make use of the stable seabed temperature to help keep the building comfortable year-round. Interestingly, the restaurant will also be used as a marine biology research center.
"Outside opening hours, parts of the restaurant will also be dedicated to a marine biology research center welcoming interdisciplinary research teams studying marine biology and fish behavior," says the firm. "Researchers from Norwegian research centers will, among other things, seek to train wild fish with sound signals and will research whether fish behave differently throughout the shifting seasons. The researchers will also help create optimized conditions on the seabed so that fish and shellfish can thrive in proximity to the restaurant."
A Snøhetta representative told us that construction of the underwater restaurant is expected to start in February 2018, with the opening planned for around March 2019. The firm certainly has form for ambitious projects like this and is involved in a plan to build the world's first ship tunnel, also in Norway.