A Norwegian design company has unveiled plans to build Europe’s first underwater restaurant and it looks like something out of Spongebob Squarepants’ wildest dreams.
The architectural firm is pushing the boundaries of design and cuisine with their three-level structure, which boasts a panoramic window, designers claim, will let visitors ‘journey’ to the sea floor in southern Norway.
The restaurant, which will be called Under, is designed to look like a ‘sunken periscope’, with an entrance and cloakroom at the coastal level, according to Snøhetta, the creative agency who designed the project.
From there, guests can stop at a champagne bar one level below, before transitioning from the shoreline to the ocean.
The final stop: a seabed-level dining room, with a 36-foot-wide panoramic window into the Deep Blue Sea.
Under’s namesake holds a double meaning: In Norwegian, ‘under’ can just as well be translated into ‘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 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.
Under lies on the southernmost point of the Norwegian coastline by the village of Båly, so diners will experience the true wilds of the ocean, relatively untouched by man…
Until now, of course.
However, Snøhetta have kept sustainability in mind and have designed the structure accordingly.
Its industrial concrete walls – very Pinterest – will be three feet thick to withstand the rugged conditions of the North Sea and the outer shell will have a coarse surface, so molluscs can latch onto it.
The designers hope the building will become part of the marine landscape over time, adding:
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.
Apparently, the menus are curated to encourage guests to acknowledge the immense biodiversity of the sea and its marine life, and Under’s mission is to ‘inspire a sense of awe and delight’ as well as ‘activate all the senses – both physical and intellectual’.
The building comfortably accommodates 80-100 guests and muted lighting from the inside of the restaurant will be installed on the seabed, to help ‘stage’ the wildlife flourishing on the sandbank outside the 11 x 4-meter panoramic acrylic window.
Presumably the restaurateurs will choose to play some ambient music a little more sophisticated than Sebastian’s Under The Sea, but you’d be missing a trick if you didn’t role play Ariel from The Little Mermaid using a fork – or dinglehopper – as a comb here, just to see how long it takes the waiting staff to remove you.
If that’s not enough to get you excited for Blue Planet II then I don’t know what else to say?
Check out the trailer below:
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This is an absolute must for ocean-lovers and fans of unusual dining experiences.
Crabbie Patties all round!
A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.