Ever wanted to dine under the sea? As long as you don’t have any phobia of being underwater, the idea is definitely an intriguing one. For those of us who find the idea appealing, you may have to book a trip to Norway in the near future, as a design company has unveiled plans to build Europe’s first underwater restaurant.
A Norwegian architectural firm has announced it has created plans for a restaurant that will have three storeys, two of which will be submerged beneath sea level.
The company says that the restaurant, which boasts a 36-foot-wide panoramic window in its dining room, will let visitors “journey to the sea floor”. Located in southern Norway, the unique dining experience will be called “Under”, and is designed to look like a “sunken periscope”.
The entrance and cloakroom area are at ground level, but once you head downstairs you will enter an underwater champagne bar. Then, on the bottom floor, you can find the seabed-level dining room, which is home to the aforementioned panoramic window.
Under’s namesake holds a double meaning: In Norwegian, “under” can just as well be translated into ‘wonder'”. Snøhetta, the creative agency who designed the project, said in a statement, “Half-sunken into the sea, the building’s monolithic form breaks the water surface to lie against the craggy shoreline.” They continue:
“More than an aquarium, the structure will become a part of its marine environment, coming to rest directly on the seabed five metres below the water’s surface. With metre-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.”
Located at the southernmost point of the Norwegian coastline, near the village of Båly, it claims to provide its patrons with views of an untouched area of the country.
And the structure will also be built with sustainability in mind. The industrial concrete walls will be three feet thick to withstand the weather conditions of the North Sea. The outer shell will have also have a surface designed with the intention of having molluscs latching onto it.
“Over time, as the mollusc community densifies, the submerged monolith will become an artificial mussel reef that functions dually to rinse the sea and naturally attract more marine life to its purified waters,” the company said. Accommodating 80-100 guests, muted lighting will be installed on the nearby seabed to display the wildlife more clearly outside the panoramic window.
Even the menus are curated to portray the biodiversity of the sea and its marine life, as their intention is to “inspire a sense of awe and delight” and “activate all the senses – both physical and intellectual”.
This sounds like an amazing experience, as long as you can get overcome any fears of being submerged as you tuck into your meal of choice.