The first, the largest and the most research-friendly. Under is the world’s largest underwater restaurant with a total seating capacity for 100 guests, it’s the first of its kind in Europe, and it also functions as a research center for marine life. The Snøhetta-designed dining experience started operating just yesterday but people are already adding it to their Norway destination lists.
In Norwegian, ‘under’ means both ‘below’ and ‘wonder.’ Half-sunken into the sea, the building’s 111-foot long monolithic form breaks the surface of the water to rest on the seabed below. Taking it a step further, the structure is built to eventually fully integrate into its marine environment, as the roughness of the concrete shell will function as an artificial reef, welcoming limpets and kelp to inhabit it.
“In this building, you may find yourself underwater, over the seabed, between land and sea. This will offer you new perspectives and ways of seeing the world, both beyond and beneath the waterline.”
The restaurant focuses to create a fine dining experience based on high quality, locally-sourced produce, emphasizing on sustainable wildlife capture. Danish expatriate Nicolai Ellitsgaard from the acclaimed restaurant Måltid in Kristiansand is the Head Chef, bringing an international, 16-person kitchen team with experience from top Michelin restaurants.
But Under isn’t just a restaurant. The building also houses a marine research facility. It welcomes interdisciplinary research teams that will be able to study marine biology and fish behavior through cameras and other measurement tools that are installed on and outside the facade of the restaurant. They will be able to document the population, behavior, and diversity of species that live in the surrounding areas. The goal of the research is to collect data that can be programmed into machine learning tools that monitor the population dynamics of key marine species on a regular basis.
Info & Image credits: Snøhetta