Europe's first underwater restaurant, half-sunken into the seascape of Linsdesnes in Norway, welcomed guests on Wednesday. The 34-metre-long monolithic building designed by Snøhetta erupts from the seabed five metres below the surface of the water at the southermost point of Norway's coast, its concrete shell functioning as an artificial reef for marine life.
The restaurant and aquatic research centre has adopted the name "Under', which has the dual meaning of "below" and "wonder" in Norwegian. The restaurant's 11-metre-wide window gives 35-40 patrons a front-row seat of the seabed as it changes throughout the seasons and weather conditions. The dining experience focuses on locally-sourced produce and sustainable wildlife capture.
Visitors are ushered through an oak-clad foyer before approaching a staircase, accented by sunset-themed textile-clad ceiling panels, leading down to the dining area.
The restaurant will also welcome interdisciplinary research teams studying marine biology and fish behaviour as cameras and measurement tools installed on the outside of the facade aid in their work. The collected data will be programmed into machine learning tools that monitor the population dynamics of marine species on a regular basis, providing new opportunities to improve marine resource management.
"Under is a natural progression of our experimentation with boundaries," says Snøhetta Founder and Architect, Kjetil Trædal Thorsen. "As a new landmark for Southern Norway, Under proposes unexpected combinations of pronouns and prepositions, and challenges what determines a person's physical placement in their environment. In this building, you may find yourself under water, 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."
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