In Norwegian, “under” also translates as “wonder.” Serving exclusively locally sourced seafood, the restaurant is designed half-sunken into the sea. The building’s monolithic form breaks the water surface to lie against the craggy shoreline, becoming part of its marine environment as it comes to rest directly on the sea bed five meters below the water’s surface. With meter-thick concrete walls, the structure is built to withstand pressure and shock from the rugged sea conditions while the coarse surface of its sleek, streamlined form will become an artificial mussel reef to rinse the sea and naturally attract more marine life to its purified waters. Outside opening hours, parts of the restaurant will be shared by marine biology research teams.
Informational plaques about marine biodiversity and the Norwegian coast will be mounted alongside the trail leading guests to the restaurant entrance at the water’s edge. The building comfortably accommodates 80-100 guests and unfolds in three levels; the entrance leads to the wardrobe area, then one level below to the champagne bar and further down to the last level of the restaurant. Marking the transition between shoreline and ocean, a narrow acrylic window cuts vertically down through the restaurant levels. From the bar, guests can also look down at the seabed level through the 11 x 4-meter panoramic acrylic window of the restaurant.
Colours are inspired by the coastal zone, gradually darkening towards the interior. The warm oak of the restaurant interior contrasts with the rough concrete shell, creating an intimate atmosphere. Sustainable materials and an advanced heating pump technology guarantee a comfortable indoor climate.
Through its architecture, menu and mission of informing the public about the biodiversity of the sea, Under will provide an under-water experience activating all the senses – both physical and intellectual.