Norway, a country celebrated for its seafood, is currently in the process of building Europe's first underwater restaurant, which in addition to exquisite cuisine will offer customers captivating views of sea creatures.
The entrance to the restaurant will be located three meters above the sea level, whereas the restaurant itself will be five and a half meters below sea level. The building, designed by renowned architecture company Snøhetta, will be shaped like an elongated concrete pipe and will have a rough surface for mussels to settle on over time. As the mollusk community densifies, the submerged block will become an artificial mussel reef, purifying the sea.
The restaurant is expected to have a capacity of up to 100 visitors, all treated to a mesmerizing marine outlook. The name itself, Under, is a pun, as this word can also mean "wonder" in Norwegian.
"It's great to get started. It's a project filled with excitement and many challenges, no doubt about that," Ubostad told Godt, citing a lack of similar projects.
According to him, the building itself will be assembled on a barge measuring 16x60 meters before being towed to the right place, and the vast glass plates will be shipped from Canada. Afterwards, the restaurant will be lowered and anchored at the sea bottom.
"We are going to ballast the front since the building has natural buoyancy. The floors, stairs and interior are built after the building is anchored," the hotel director told Godt.
The construction process will involve between 10 and 20 people. The restaurant is expected to open its doors in March 2019.
Since the start of the project, the budget has increased by several million kroner, exceeding NOK 50 million ($6.5 million). Ubostadt attributed the rising costs to the choice of Snøhetta as designer and ambitions for high-quality foods.
The Norwegians previously toyed with the idea of building a snowflake-shaped hotel in the waters of Tromsø in Arctic Norway. Since 2014, however, the ambitious project has been put on ice.
Norwegian architectural firm Snøhetta is known for its work on the Norwegian National Opera & Ballet and the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt.
Underwater restaurants have previously popped up in exotic locations, such as Dubai, the Maldives and Florida. Under is the first bid to start a similar project that isn't confined to southern destinations.