Europe Will Soon Have Its First Underwater Restaurant

Gaze at the coastal ecosystem while you graze on seafood.

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614437058

Underwater view of the sea surface

Photo by: mihtiander

mihtiander

Have you ever longed to dine under the sea? Those living in or traveling to Norway will soon have a chance.

In early 2019, a new restaurant/marine research facility called Under will open off Lindesnes, on Norway’s rocky southern coast, that will allow visitors to enjoy a gourmet meal in a pressure- and shock-resistant underwater dining room featuring giant acrylic windows providing a clear view into the world below the waves.

Diners enter the 6,500-square-foot building — a large slablike, half-submerged structure with cement walls 3.25 feet thick — from land and descend into a dining room that, at its lowest edge, rests on the sea floor, about 16.5 feet under the surface. Snohetta, the Norway-based architecture firm spearheading the project, which is being touted as Europe’s first undersea restaurant, has compared the design to a “sunken periscope.”

(Don’t worry, pains are being taken to prevent patrons from feeling claustrophobic — including the inclusion of natural materials and pleasant lighting in the design, the project’s lead architect, Rune Grasdal, told CNN.)

The menu, to be overseen by head chef Nicolai Ellitsgaard, will prominently feature seafood, naturally. But the endeavor aims not only satisfy patrons’ hunger, but also to whet their appetite for information about sea life -- to activate “all the senses — both physical and intellectual,” Snøhetta maintains.

“Our goal is to show off the Norwegian coastal ecosystem” and create “a new niche for underwater tourism,” notes the Under website, adding that visitors “will be given a unique opportunity to... admire marine life in ways they otherwise may never see.”

While enjoying a nice meal, of course.

Photo: iStock

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