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Snøhetta’s underwater restaurant would also double as a marine life research center

“Under” is also Norwegian for “wonder”

Rendering of interior of underwater restaurant with huge panoramic window looking into ocean.
Under features a raw concrete shell and a panoramic acrylic window.
All images by MIR and Snøhetta

International architecture firm Snøhetta has revealed designs for an ambitious new project that will take the Oslo- and New York City-based firm to new depths. In addition to works like a revamp of Times Square, a treehouse hotel, and an expansion of the SFMOMA, to name a few, Snøhetta will soon add an underwater restaurant to its portfolio.

To be located at the southernmost point of the Norwegian coastline by the village of Båly, the restaurant, aptly called “Under,” would be the first of its kind in Europe and also act as a marine life research center.

In a press release, the company describes Under (which, in Norwegian can also mean “wonder”) as a “sunken periscope,” a “monolithic form” emerging from the water and lying against a craggy shoreline. It would be “[m]ore than an aquarium,” and instead “become a part of its marine environment, coming to rest directly on the sea bed five meters below the water’s surface.”

Made of meter-thick concrete walls, Under was designed with environmental considerations and incorporates a coarse surface to encourage mollusks to cling onto it. Overtime, this activity would create an artificial mollusk reef. A massive panoramic acrylic window would offers views of the seabed, while muted lighting inside and out would help stage the wildlife scene occurring on the sandbank.

As for other design elements, untreated, locally sourced oak is found on the entrance and the interiors, creating a natural complement to the raw concrete. The three-level restaurant can accommodate between 80 and 100 people and will be serviced by Danish chef Nicolai Ellitsgaard Pedersen.