Travel & Adventure

Europe's First Underwater Restaurant Is a Sight to Behold

There are lots of good things to do in Norway, like see all the fjords and—checks Wikipedia—uh, experience the thriving jazz scene and the Norwegian national football team, which has made the World Cup three times. Okay, so it turns out I don’t know anything about Norway, but I do know that the Scandinavian country will soon lay claim to Europe’s first underwater restaurant, which is reason enough for me to book a plane ticket to Oslo Airport immediately.

Snøhetta, an architectural firm that would also look great as the logo for a doom metal band, has revealed plans for the appropriately named Under, a massive concrete structure that will be half-sunk into the sea near the coast of Båly. The aquarium will act as a research center for marine biologists and double as an eatery, where Norwegians can chow down on local cuisine.

Guests will enter the restaurant where the sea swallows the tidepool, and then walk down to the Champagne bar, where the ocean converges with the shoreline. After you’re done sipping bubbly, you’ll descend another level to the main dining room five meters below the surface, where tables are placed in front of an 11-by-four-meter panoramic window.

Architects gave this level a coarse outside surface for mussels to cling to, with the hope that over time it will become an artificial mussel reef to “rinse the sea and naturally attract more marine life to its purified waters,” according to Snøhetta’s website. No word yet on when Under is actually opening, but construction is underway. Check out concept photos here, and study up on your Norway facts in the meantime.

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