Under, Europe's aptly-named first underwater restaurant, has opened in Lindesnes on the southern tip of Norway.
There, marine delicacies are served five metres underwater, offering a unique panoramic view of ocean life through a 36-square-metre window dubbed the "sunken periscope" by its designers from the architectural company Snøhetta, known for its celebrated buildings such as the Oslo Opera and the 9/11 Memorial Pavilion in New York.
The 26-centimetre-thick plexiglass window is designed to withstand storms, and the entire structure, with its thick concrete walls, is built to resist pressure and shocks from the rugged sea conditions.
The 34-metre monolith serves up to 40 diners, five nights a week. Customers enter the restaurant onshore through a wood-panelled passage and descend down a long, oak staircase into a dimly lit dining room.
The restaurant is located on the southern tip of Norway, where the brackish waters from the east meet the salty waters from the Atlantic, resulting in a rich variety of local fish fauna, according to Trond Rafoss, a marine biologist involved in the project.
The very name of the restaurant is based on a clever play of words. In Norwegian, "Under" means "under" as in being submerged, but also "wonder".
"It is without a doubt the largest one in the world and the only one in Europe," restaurant owner Stig Ubostad told the news outlet The Local. "We've been through so many consultants I think it's safer than anything else," Ubostad assured.
The menu consists of 16 to 18 dishes, costs NOK 2,250 kroner ($256) per person, and double that if wine is included. Nevertheless, Under is fully booked for the next six months.
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Today marks the official opening of “Under”, Europe’s first and the world’s biggest underwater restaurant, designed by Snøhetta. Half-sunken into the sea, the building’s 34-meter long monolithic form breaks the surface of the water to rest directly on the seabed five meters below. The structure is designed to fully integrate into its marine environment over time, as the roughness of the concrete shell will function as an artificial reef, welcoming limpets and kelp to inhabit it. With the thick concrete walls lying against the craggy shoreline, the structure is built to withstand pressure and shock from the rugged sea conditions. Like a sunken periscope, the restaurant’s massive window offers a view of the seabed as it changes throughout the seasons and varying weather conditions. The building also functions as a research center for marine life, providing a tribute to the wild fauna of the sea and to the rocky coastline of Norway’s southern tip. 📷@ivarkvaal and @matografen @underlindesnes
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| LA PHOTO DU JOUR / Bienvenue au @undersunrestaurant situé à Lindesnes en Norvège. Cet établissement propose une expérience culinaire inédite: dîner sous l’eau mais au sec! Situé à 5 mètres de profondeur, le restaurant accueille ses clients dans une structure architecturale étonnante. Un long escalier vous fait descendre dans la salle de restaurant située en face d’une immense vitre montrant la vie aquatique. Il n’est pas rare pour les clients de voir passer des cabillauds, des lieux ou encore des phoques pendant leur repas. Prix du menu: 230€ par personne / 🇬🇧 | THE DAY PHOTO / Welcome to @undersunrestaurant located in Lindesnes, Norway. This establishment offers a unique culinary experience: dinner underwater but dry! Located at a depth of 5 metres, the restaurant welcomes its guests in an astonishing architectural structure. A long staircase leads you down to the restaurant room in front of a huge window showing aquatic life. It is not uncommon for customers to see cod, places or seals passing by during their meal. Price of the menu: 230€ per person #underrestaurant #lindesnes #norvege #eau #mer #restaurant #experience #underwaterrestaurant #cuisine #infostories #lastoryquivousinforme (📸 @undersunrestaurant)