Perspective takes a look inside Europe’s first underwater restaurant, Under. Located in Norway and designed by award-winning firm Snøhetta
Europe's first underwater restaurant, Under, officially welcomed its first guests on March 20. The restaurant is located in Lindesnes, the southernmost point of the Norwegian coastline, where the sea storms from the north and south meet.
Designed by Snøhetta, the space functions not only as a restaurant, but also as a research centre for marine life due to its positioning. The building's 34-meter long monolithic form is half-sunken into the sea, breaking the surface of the water and resting directly on the seabed five meters below.
Under was designed to integrate into its marine environment over time, with the roughness of the concrete shell functioning as an artificial reef.
In this building, you may find yourself under water, over the seabed, between land and sea
Lindesnes is known for its intense weather conditions, typically changing several times a day. The structure's half-meter-thick concrete walls were built to withstand pressure and shock from any rough sea conditions.
"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, challenging 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".
Visitors enter through the hushed, oak-clad foyer. Here, rough, wooden finishes and the sweet scent of timber transition into an elegant, oak staircase as one descends into the building. Dark, raw steel railings with brass tube handrails lead downwards to a softer interior as the ceiling surface changes from oak to textile.
The ceiling's neutral colour deepens into a sunset pink, intense coral, sea green, and finally a midnight blue upon arriving at the dining room
A warm, welcoming atmosphere breathes into the restaurant. The colour of the textile-clad interior turns darker and more intense the deeper one goes below water. The textiles stretched over custom acoustic panels, reference the colours of a sunset dropping into the ocean, accompanying one's passage down the stairs. At the entrance, the ceiling's neutral colour deepens into a sunset pink, intense coral, sea green, and finally a midnight blue as one arrives at the dining room.
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Photos: Ivar Kvaal + Inger Marie Grini / Bo Bedre Norge