For this week lifestyle article, we decide to bring you something new. Under Restaurant, is the first underwater restaurant in Europe and one of the most spectacular restaurants in the World. Snøhetta is the Architecture and design studio responsible for the monolithic concrete tube – structure that houses a forty-seater restaurant as well as a marine life research center.
Located in Lindesnes Norway, opened its doors to the public on March 20th. A unique place, where marine species flourish and produce a natural and diverse ecosystem. More than a restaurant, Under, will function 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.
Half-sunken into the sea, the 34-meter long building breaks the surface of the water to rest directly on the seabed. The structure is designed to fully integrate into its marine environment. As the time pass, the building will function as an artificial reef, welcoming limpets and kelp to inhabit it. Lying against the craggy shoreline, the restaurant was 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.
In addition to the restaurant itself, Snøhetta also designed Under’s visual identity. The website transports the visitor to the experience of being at Under, presenting the elements that characterize the project. The unique landscape, the handpicked ingredients, the philosophy of the chef and the thinking behind the architecture.
The typographic choice, Portrait from Commercial Type, is a reference to the refined roughness and materiality of the exterior, while the color palette is a subdued interpretation of the interior textiles. The logo is an abstraction of the building’s form and its tilt into the sea.
All these elements are tied together on the website, inviting the visitor into the Under experience. With a dynamic layout system, the website provides possibilities to change its appearance with the shifting seasons of Lindesnes. Divided into three sections, you can immerse yourself into the different aspects of the project and book your journey to Under.
The restaurant’s culinary focus is to create a fine dining experience based on high-quality products. Based on local produce harvested with careful consideration of the balance of nearby flora and fauna. Eating at the restaurant is a journey through the landscape of Lindesnes; from locally harvested seafood, shells and kelp to wild meat in the game season in late fall.
The restaurant also aims to bring attention to underappreciated seafood. Using ingredients that are rarely served elsewhere, such as stone crab and rugose squat lobster. The servings of the restaurant will be unlike anywhere else, employing ingredients spanning from limpets and mahogany clam, to sea cucumber and local lamb from Lindesnes.
According to Snøhetta, Kjetil Trædal Thorsen (founder and architect), “Under is a natural progression of our experimentation with boundaries. As a new landmark for Southern Norway, Under proposes unexpected combinations of pronouns and prepositions, challenging what determines a person’s physical placement in their environment. In this building, you may find yourself underwater, over the seabed, between land and sea. This will offer you new perspectives and ways of seeing the world, both beyond and beneath the waterline”.
Under is a story of contrasts. The contrast between the landscape and the sea. The contrasts between the warm oak and textiles of the interiors, and the rough concrete façade that can withstand the most powerful storms and waves. It is a metaphor for the contrasts of life; the rough and delicate; the brutal and tender; the thunder and quiet.
Under allows the visitor to peek into the North Sea, deciphering the life that emerged here some four billion years ago. The project underscores the delicate ecological balance between land and sea and draws our attention to sustainable models for responsible consumption. By focusing on the coexistence of life on land and in the sea, Under proposes a new way of understanding our relationship to our surroundings – above the surface, under the water, and alongside the life of the sea.