Restaurants

The First Underwater Restaurant in Europe Opens its Doors

18.04.2019 | By ELENA LONGARI

‘Under’ will offer you new perspectives and ways of seeing the world, both beyond and beneath the waterline — Kjetil Trædal Thorsen

Ivar Kvaal

When we looked at these photos we gasped with wows and sighs of marvel. Dipping in the harsh waters of the southernmost coastline of Norway, ‘Under’ looks like a getaway to secret worlds, as in one of those futuristic movies where mankind seeks to inhabit inhospitable planets. But challenging and feeling as one with the brutal storms of this unique natural setting, the project by Snøhetta is far from the reality suggested in dystopian movies;it opened on March 20th.

Ivar Kvaal
Ivar Kvaal

On top of becoming a new centre point where guests can seek dining experiences that engage with all senses, triggering the most unexplored sides of the mind, ‘Under’ is also a research centre for marine life, given the rich biodiversity of the environment in which it is immersed.

Ivar Kvaal jelly fish
Ivar Kvaal

Man-made isn’t an expression to associate with the half-sunken monolithic; if anything, it speaks as a God-made, or a superior force of some sort, put there to entice mankind in the existence of something superior and utterly beautiful. It is 34-meter-long and seats 35-40 guests, who can appreciate the warmness and the sense of protection inside its walls, fully in contrast with the forces from the natural elements.

Stian Broch
Stian Broch
Inger Marie Grini / Bo Bedre Norge 2
Inger Marie Grini / Bo Bedre Norge

The culinary experience of ‘Under’ matches the desire of sitting comfortably naturally in wildlife: the menu, based on locally sourced produce, with particular attention on sustainable wildlife, is put together by Danish expatriate Nicolai Ellitsgaard and his team of 16 chefs.

It’s a beautiful story of contrasts, those contrasts that can please the eye and make us feel one thing with the Earth and those who inhabit it.

Inger Marie Grini / Bo Bedre Norge
Inger Marie Grini / Bo Bedre Norge
Ivar Kvaal
Ivar Kvaal
Ivar Kvaal