Snøhetta designs ‘Under’, Europe’s First Underwater Restaurant
Europe’s very first underwater restaurant has been built on the coastline of Norway by renowned Norwegian architectural firm Snøhetta. With its immediate proximity with the forces of nature, the restaurant, which will also function as a research centre for marine life, 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.
Under’s name holds a double meaning: in Norwegian, ‘under’ can be translated both into ‘under/beneath/ and ‘wonder’. Half-sunken into the sea, the building’s monolithic form breaks the water surface to lie against the craggy shoreline.
More than an aquarium, the structure will become a part of its marine environment, coming to rest directly on the sea bed five meters below the water’s surface. With meter-thick concrete walls, the structure is built to withstand pressure and shock from the rugged sea conditions. Like a sunken periscope, the restaurant’s massive acrylic windows offer a view of the seabed as it changes throughout the seasons and varying weather conditions.