Called Under, the fine-dining restaurant will be constructed in Norway
From Al Mahara and Ossiano in Dubai to Ithaa Undersea and Sea restaurants in the Maldives, there are plenty of options spread across the globe if you’re searching for an underwater dining experience. However, Europe was unfortunately left out of the mix. Now though, it’s all set to get its first underwater restaurant.
Norwegian architectural firm Snøhetta has announced that they will begin construction on Europe’s first underwater restaurant in February 2018 and open the restaurant in early 2019. It will be located near the village of Båly, five hours away from Oslo, in the southernmost part of Norway. The choice of the name for the restaurant is an interesting one not only because of the English meaning of the word, but because in Norwegian “under” also means “wonder”.
The restaurant will resemble a tube that extends from the coast up to a depth of five metres below the surface. It will be built across three levels and will have a capacity of up to 100 guests. The first level includes the entrance and the cloakroom, while the second level is the champagne bar and is the transition between the shoreline and the ocean floor. The lowermost level is the dining area that includes two long tables and several smaller ones. On the menu will be locally-sourced seafood including cod, lobsters and mussels.
The concrete structure will include a 36-foot-wide and 13-foot-tall acrylic window in the dining area that allows for a panoramic view of the ocean bed. The thick walls will be built from concrete. Concrete has been chosen not only because it’s tough enough to withstand potential rough weather, but also because it will cause minimal disruption to the ecological balance of the area. The hope is that it will also become an artificial mussel reef by serving as a surface that attracts molluscs and encourages them to set up colonies on its surface. When not serving a meal as a restaurant, the facility will operate as a marine biology research where scientists will observe and study the marine life and their behavioural patterns across seasons.
In 2014, Norway announced a snowflake-shaped floating hotel. While that might have been an idea ahead of its time that never materialized, Under appears to be a project that will see the light of day. Snøhetta have a reputation for some high-profile projects around the world including the Norwegian National Opera & Ballet and the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt and the September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion in New York City.
We’ve heard of restaurants having ridiculously long waiting periods to book a meal, like Club 33 in New Orleans (14 years), Damon Baehrel in New York City (10 years) and Talula’s Table in Pennsylvania (one year). It might not be preposterous then to go ahead and contact Under to make dinner reservations for November 2019 already.