AN Oslo firm of architects has unveiled plans to construct Europe’s first undersea restaurant off the southern coast of Norway.
Snøhetta, which also has an office in New York, says the project will also help to promote the country’s aquaculture and fishing traditions as well as give diners a unique insight into marine life.
Customers will be seated around five metres under the water watching fish swim past them. It will also double as an aquarium and marine research centre. It is hoped the
Snøhetta’ says its design is inspired by Norway’s rocky coast, with part of the structure below the sea and the other half resting on the shore. The walls will be a metre thick in order to withstand pressure from the water.
It will primarily be a seafood restaurant run by Danish chef Nicolai Ellitsgaard Pedersen, with seating for around 100 people
The building will be simply called Under – a word that the architects say is very similar to “wonder”, when translated into Norwegian. It will be built near the village of Båly in Norway’s Lindesnes region, on the country’s southernmost tip.
The research centre part of the project will look at everything from aquaculture developments to the study of fish behaviour , macroalgae and shells, to looking after and restoring damaged sea beds.
The dining room will be painted in deep blue and green hues “inspired by the seabed, seaweed and rough sea”. There will also be a champagne bar, featuring more subdued tones, intended to evoke shells, rocks and sand.
The researchers will also try to make the seabed around the restaurant friendly to fish and shellfish.
The structure is clad in a concrete shell with a coarse surface that invites mussels to cling on. Over time, as the mollusc community becomes denser, the development aims to “become an artificial mussel reef that rinses the sea and attracts more marine life to its purified waters” according to the architect. It is hoped to have the new restaurant open by March 2019.
Photo: Architects: Snøhetta