Situated on the rocky coastline of Norway’s southern tip and half-sunken into the sea, Europe’s first “underwater” restaurant opened this week.
Designed by architect Snøhetta, construction of the 495sq m restaurant, named “Under”, took three years to complete.
Its dining room, which is protected by half-metre-thick concrete walls, sits five metres below the sea’s surface.
The building’s 34-metre long structure is half submerged, breaking the ocean's surface.
Snøhetta founder and architect Kjetil Trædal Thorsen describes the restaurant as a story of contrasts.
“The project underscores the delicate ecological balance between land and sea and draws our attention to sustainable models for responsible consumption.”
Related: SOM Unveils New 550m Skyscraper
Thorsen said the roughness of the restaurant’s concrete exterior will grow an artificial reef, encouraging limpets and kelp to inhabit.
The restaurant also functions as a research centre to study local marine life.
“Marine species flourish here in the both briny and brackish waters to produce a natural abundance in biodiversity at the site,” Thorsen said.
With a special emphasis on sustainable wildlife capture, the restaurant’s culinary focus is on, very, locally-sourced produce.
Danish expatriate Nicolai Ellitsgaard is the head chef of Under, which can seat 35-40 dinner guests.