Construction of Europe's first underwater restaurant starts above water
We initially covered Snøhetta's ambitious design for Europe's first underwater restaurant back in late 2017. The high-profile firm has now revealed that the appropriately-named Under is, well, under construction in Norway's southernmost tip.
Under is being built atop a barge, just a short distance from where the building will ultimately come to rest on the sea bed, 5 m (16 ft) below the water's surface. Once deemed structurally sound, it will be submerged and secured to a foundation on the sea floor – we've reached out to the project's engineering team for more details on how they'll go about this and will update this story if and when we hear back.
Snøhetta, which is also involved in the construction of the world's first ship tunnel in Norway, likens the underwater restaurant to a sunken periscope. The 600 sq m (6,458 sq ft) building will comprise 1 m (3.2 ft)-thick concrete walls to ensure it can withstand a battering from the waves.
A large panoramic acrylic window will offer diners a view of the seabed throughout the changing seasons and weather. The building will also serve as an artificial mussel reef and host marine biology research outside of the restaurant's opening hours.
"We're excited to see Under taking shape," says Project Manager, Rune Grasdal. "It's a complex building in many ways, and we've applied know-how from the offshore industry to make the restaurant water tight and weather proof. Among other [things], we've simulated how the restaurant will tolerate a so-called 100-year wave. The conclusion is that building will be just fine, but, of course, in extreme and rare weather conditions like that you'll need to keep your distance from the shoreline regardless."
Under is on course to be completed by early 2019. Check out the gallery for photos of the progress so far.