Architecture

Europe's first underwater restaurant offers views of the seabed

Under features a large panoramic acrylic window that allows people to watch the marine life of Norway's southern coast
Under features a large panoramic acrylic window that allows people to watch the marine life of Norway's southern coast
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Under is located on Norway's southern coast
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Under is located on Norway's southern coast
Under measures 34 m (111 ft)-long
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Under measures 34 m (111 ft)-long
Under sports 1 m (3.2 ft)-thick concrete walls
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Under sports 1 m (3.2 ft)-thick concrete walls
Under is designed to withstand Norway's harsh conditions 
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Under is designed to withstand Norway's harsh conditions 
Under was built atop a barge a short distance from where it now rests
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Under was built atop a barge a short distance from where it now rests
Under measures 600 sq m (6,458 sq ft)
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Under measures 600 sq m (6,458 sq ft)
Under is anchored to the seabed
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Under is anchored to the seabed
Under features a large panoramic acrylic window that allows people to watch the marine life of Norway's southern coast
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Under features a large panoramic acrylic window that allows people to watch the marine life of Norway's southern coast
Under measures 600 sq m (6,458 sq ft)
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Under measures 600 sq m (6,458 sq ft)
Under measures 34 m (111 ft)-long
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Under measures 34 m (111 ft)-long
Under measures 600 sq m (6,458 sq ft) 
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Under measures 600 sq m (6,458 sq ft) 
Under's interior includes a bar and a restaurant 
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Under's interior includes a bar and a restaurant 
Under is located on Norway's southern coast
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Under is located on Norway's southern coast
Under's restaurant allows diners to watch the fish swim by 
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Under's restaurant allows diners to watch the fish swim by 
Under's interior is finished in textiles and wood
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Under's interior is finished in textiles and wood
Under's interior features multiple windows 
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Under's interior features multiple windows 
Under's visitors descend down an oak staircase
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Under's visitors descend down an oak staircase
Under's visitors descend down an oak staircase
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Under's visitors descend down an oak staircase
Under's restaurant allows diners to watch the fish swim by
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Under's restaurant allows diners to watch the fish swim by
Under took two years to construct
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Under took two years to construct

Visitors to Norway can now dine both on and with fish in an impressive new restaurant by Snøhetta. Appropriately named Under, the building is part-sunk into the sea and is encased in a concrete shell designed to withstand the harsh conditions on the seabed of Norway's rugged southern coast.

Likened by Snøhetta to a sunken periscope, the 34 m (111 ft)-long restaurant was built atop a barge a short distance from where it now rests in what sounds like an impressive work of engineering.

"Under was built on a barge as a concrete tube shell 20 m [65 ft] from the site," explains Snøhetta. "The windows were installed prior to the submersion. During submersion, the structure floated on its own and was delicately moved to its final location by a separate crane and tugboats. Following the submersion, structural work was completed, and the building was bolted to a concrete slab anchored to the bedrock beneath the seabed. In order to ensure a proper connection to the bolts on the concrete slab, the construction team filled the structure with water to make it sink. After ensuring that all bolts were fully tightened, the water was drained away, allowing the interior work to begin."

Under is located on Norway's southern coast
Under is located on Norway's southern coast

The 600 sq m (6,458 sq ft) building sports 1 m (3.2 ft)-thick concrete walls that are designed to withstand a "100 year wave." Visitors enter into an oak-lined foyer before descending down a staircase into the restaurant proper. In the bar, a window is cut into the side of the wall vertically, extending from above sea level down to the seabed.

Finally, in the restaurant at the bottom, a large panoramic acrylic window enables diners to gaze at the ocean floor at a depth of 5 m (16 ft) below the water's surface.

Under's interior includes a bar and a restaurant 
Under's interior includes a bar and a restaurant 

In addition to serving as a restaurant, Under will host marine research. The aim is to use cameras and other instruments installed on its facade to collect data that can be used to monitor the population of marine life.

Source: Snøhetta

1 comment
Grunchy
These are the guys who did the downtown public library in Calgary. I visited this place, it's very nice (lots of varnished wood). I dunno, on second thought, I think I prefer the old library. Well it's because they built this new one over the light rail transit, but didn't include a station which is what I thought was the point. So to get inside the library you have to climb up about 40 stairs - above ground level - to get to the bottom level of the library. Then they put all the books up on the second and third levels and there's a couple elevators way far from the one entrance, otherwise you gotta go up this huge staircase. The old library, it was directly beside a LRT station, you just pop in, there's a bank of elevators all together, if that's too slow there's a stairwell right beside & you can rush up a couple floors, browse all the books, lounge around, plus it was connected to the Plus 15 elevated sidewalk system we have in Calgary (all the office towers are connected and the entire downtown is like this big sprawling indoor mall, which is great especially during a Canadian blizzard). The new library is isolated from the Plus 15, it goes directly over the transit line but the nearest station is almost 2 blocks away. I dunno: the old library was about books and reading. The new library is about being avant garde and fashion, no matter how inconvenient that winds up being. Looks good, but completely stupid. Kind of like this new cafe built half in the ocean! Luckily I use my community library so I don't have to go downtown. Actually the old library was more or less a glorified homeless shelter, although this new one has so many stairs and access is so far removed from anywhere convenient, I didn't see any homeless people bothering to come to the new library. Oh well, they made use of some otherwise useless land in & around the LRT tracks & now made use of this wasteland inhospitable rocky shore area.