What else can beat the usual fancy dinner at a five star hotel? How about an underwater restaurant? The idea sounds surreal but it has been made possible in many different countries such as Maldives, Sri Lanka, Dubai and other Asian countries. This time, it goes to Europe as Norway opens its first ever underwater restaurant located in Norway’s southern coast, Scandinavia. The restaurant was planned and designed by an architecture firm in New York, Snøhetta.
The name of the restaurant ‘Under’ does not need any further explanation of what goes inside or rather, under it. Under will be half-submerged into the water by 16 feet from the surface, measuring 36 feet wide, the windows were designed significantly in order to emphasize the main feature of the restaurant. The customers can enjoy eating the local cuisines while getting up close with the marine life that exist around the area. Soon, this will become a reality and it may prove beneficial not only for the sake of local tourism but also to maintain a thriving marine ecosystem.
Rune Grasdal, lead architect for the project, said that, one of the main purpose of creating the said underwater restaurant is to let the customers experience and enjoy their meal in an unusual setup that will bring them something different, from the soft entrance to the tubes down to the wonderful scenic enclosure that adds up to the experience. Grasdal added that in order to make it more comfortable, especially for claustrophobic people who are not used to confined places such as a tank placed under water, the team considered using decent quantity of natural materials such as oak as well as good lighting.
Europe will get a glimpse of the said restaurant soon enough, the construction of the project will start by February 2018 and it is expected to be completed by 2019. Under is expected to have three levels which will feature the cloakroom, a champagne bar, and a dining room at the very bottom. The restaurant’s capacity is large enough to serve over 100 guests. Different from the well-known underwater hotels and museums from the tropical regions, the restaurant features the freezing Norwegian waters. The 1 meter thick wall will keep the restaurant’s stability and protect it from pressure changes and unwanted damages caused by nature.
The said project will also benefit the ocean life as it is planned to become a marine biology research center when it is close to the public. It aims to explain the behavior of marine life during the different seasons. Also, since the outer part is concrete, the shell walls can encourage different species to dwell on its surface such as mussels. It will act as an artificial reef system that will enhanced the condition of the sea bed, thus, it will purify the water overtime. In time, it will become a home to many different kind of sea creatures just like other manmade constructions such as sunken ships and underwater museums.
To sum up, there are lots of good things to expect from this project. The guests can interact visually with the marine life while they enjoy having their meal, it will serve as an observatory unit that will help in the conservation of the marine life, it will act as a manmade reef system that will help the ocean invite more species to inhabit the area, and hopefully, it will help boost their local tourism so that the locals may benefit from it. Enjoy nature, get to know more about the Norwegian coast while enjoying a fancy meal that will surely give you a taste of a different culture with your friends and family.