By. Ran

Under is the world’s biggest underwater restaurant! And it is the first, the largest and the most research-friendly one to be built yet! With a total seating capacity of 100 guests, it’s the first of its kind in Europe. And to make things even better, it also functions as a research center for marine biology. And the Snohetta-designed dining experience is one of a kind!

More info: snohetta.com

#1. In Norwegian, ‘under’ has two meanings: ‘below’ and ‘wonder.’ and it stands as the perfect name for this wondrous creation!

Image credits: Ivar Kvaal

#2. Half-sunken into the sea, the building’s 111-foot long monolithic form breaks the surface of the water as it is seated on the seabed below. It is built in such a way that it will eventually be fully integrated into its marine environment; the concrete surface acts as an artificial reef, one that limpets and kelp can inhabit.  

Image credits: Ivar Kvaal

#3. The thick concrete walls allow it to withstand pressure and shock from the rugged sea conditions.

Image credits: Ivar Kvaal

#4. The panoramic views offered by this structure allows the visitors to enjoy the change of seasons and the sea itself.  

Image credits: Ivar Kvaal

#5. “Under is a natural progression of our experimentation with boundaries,” Snohetta Founder and Architect, Kjetil Traedal Thorsen said.

Image credits: snohetta

#6. “As a new landmark for Southern Norway, Under proposes unexpected combinations of pronouns and prepositions, and challenges that determines a person’s physical placement in their environment.”

Image credits: Ivar Kvaal

#7. “In this modern architectural building, you may find yourself underwater, 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.”

Image credits: underlindesnes

#8. The restaurant aims to offer a fine dining experience based on high quality and locally-sourced produce while emphasizing sustainable wildlife capture.  

Image credits: Ivar Kvaal

#9. Danish expatriate Nicolai Ellitsgaard, the Head-chef of the restaurant Maltid in Kristiansand, proudly presents an international, 16-person kitchen team with experience from top Michelin restaurants.

Image credits: underlindesnes

#10. In Norway, Lindesnes is famous for its changing weather conditions. However, as the visitors pass through the interior, their impressions of the howling sea outside fades away as they are welcome by the oak-clad foyer and the rich interior design of the restaurant.  

Image credits: under

#11. Textile-clad ceiling panels depict the colorful sunset dropping into the sea, resulting in a surreal atmosphere.  

Image credits: under

#12. The philosophy of the whole project comes out even through the furniture. The furnishing pieces articulate the philosophy:  to build solid structures for the future without compromising the natural beauty that lies inherent in the raw materials.

Image credits: Inger Marie Grini

#13. Under is much more than just a restaurant. It also houses a marine research facility that accommodates interdisciplinary research teams. They will be able to study marine biology and fish behavior through cameras and other measurement tools installed on the premise.  

Image credits: Inger Marie Grini

#14. Researchers will be able to document the population, behavior, and diversity of species that inhabit the surrounding areas.  

Image credits: underlindesnes

#15. The goal of the research is to collect data that can be programmed into machine learning tools that monitor the population dynamics of key marine species on a regular basis.

Image credits: underlindesnes

#16. According to Snohetta, Under speaks of contrast: the contrast between the above and the below, the contrast between the sea and the land.  

Image credits: ingermariegrini.no

#17. It brings out the coexistence of the land and the sea. It invites us to view our life in their terms. It introduces a new way of understanding our relationship with our environment. “For most of us, this is a totally new world experience. It’s not an aquarium, it’s the wildlife of the North Sea. That makes it much more interesting. It takes you directly into the wildness,” Rune Grasdal, lead architect of Under, told Dezeen.

Image credits: Ivar Kvaal 

#18. “If the weather is bad, it’s very rough. It’s a great experience, and to sit here and be safe, allowing nature to come so close to you. It’s a very romantic and nice experience.”

Image credits: Ivar Kvaal

#19. “The idea was to make a tube that would bring people from above sea level down under the sea,” Grasdal said. “That transition is easy to understand, but it’s also the most effective way to do it. It also feels secure, but you don’t feel trapped.”

Image credits: underlindesnes

#20. This really looks surreal! 

Image credits: Ivar Kvaal

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