Olso-based architect Snøhetta has designed Europe’s first underwater restaurant by the village of Båly on Norway’s southernmost point.
Half-sunken into the sea, the structure will have metre-thick concrete walls to help it withstand the North Sea.
Resting directly on the sea bed, 5m below the water’s surface, the restaurant’s acrylic windows offer a view of the seabed as it changes. The development, will also contain a research centre for marine life.
The researchers will also try to make the seabed around the restaurant friendly to fish and shellfish.
The structure is clad in a concrete shell with a coarse surface that invites mussels to cling on. Over time, as the mollusc community densifies, the development aims to “become an artificial mussel reef that rinses the sea and attracts more marine life to its purified waters” according to the architect.
As visitors begin their journey through the restaurant they descend through three levels:
- From the entrance, where the tide pool meets the sea, guests enter the cloakroom area.
- They then go down one level to the champagne bar, which marks the transition between the shoreline and the ocean.
- From the bar, guests can also look down at the seabed level of the restaurant, where two long dining tables and several smaller tables are placed in front of a panoramic window.
Work on the project will begin in February 2018, and the restaurant is expected to open to the public in February or March 2019.