As a new landmark for Southern Norway, Under proposes unexpected combinations of pronouns and prepositions, and challenges what determines a person’s physical placement in their environment.
Restaurants are always trying to take it a notch higher when it comes to their UPS. They need something that will definitely grab everyone's attention. The latest restaurant to join that bandwagon is one in Norway and it is like nothing else you would have possibly seen! The restaurant is located in the southernmost point of the country. Half of the restaurant is submerged underwater, while the other half rests on coarse rocks on the coastline. The restaurant has fittingly been named "Under" which in Norwegian has a dual meaning - 'below' as well as 'wonder'. When one looks at the restaurant from afar, it may seem to them as a giant block of wood.
According to Snohetta.com, don't let the look fool you - inside is a luxurious restaurant that has both luxury and local culture intertwined in it. The restaurant serves food sourced from high quality and local produce with a special emphasis on sustainable wildlife capture. Based in Lindesnes, it was only opened to the public a couple of weeks ago. The location also represents a 'unique confluence' where sea storms from the north and south meet. It is also a place where marine life flourishes in both the briny as well as brackish waters and this is a habitat for an abundance in biodiversity at the site.
Under is not just a restaurant, it also serves as a research center for marine life. The restaurant has a 34-meter long monolithic form that breaks the surface of the water and rests on the seabed five meters below. One look at the restaurant and you will find that the structure has been designed in such a way so as to integrate into its marine environment over time. Sustainability has been weaved into it.
According to the website, the roughness of the concrete shell is designed to operate as an artificial reef, welcoming sea creatures such as kelp and limpets to inhabit it. Even though it is located in an area with the roughest seas, the restaurant is protected by a thick wall of concrete that is built against the craggy shoreline. The structure can withstand high amounts of pressure and shock from the rugged sea. Similar to a sunken periscope, the restaurant has a massive window that offers a view of the seabed through which people can see the ocean.
Nearly 35 to 40 guests can be seated in the restaurant at a time. The dining room is protected by a concrete wall of around half a meter thick. The Head Chef at the restaurant is none other than Danish expatriate, Nicolai Ellitsgaard who also runs the acclaimed restaurant Måltid in Kristiansand. His team includes 16 other experienced members from across the world who have been trained by top chefs and have worked in Michelin rated restaurants.
Rune Grasdal, the lead architect of Under, told Dezeen, "For most of us, this is a totally new world experience. It's not an aquarium, it's the wildlife of the North Sea. That makes it much more interesting. It takes you directly into the wildness." He further added, "If the weather is bad, it's very rough. It's a great experience, and to sit here and be safe, allowing nature so close into you. It's a very romantic and nice experience."
Under's architect is the design firm, Snøhetta. Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, founder, and architect, Snohetta, said, “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, and challenges 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”.
It seems like a once in a lifetime experience to be able to visit such a restaurant. The interiors have been done in such a way that it will prevent the feeling of claustrophobia in people and give them an enjoyable experience. Since the restaurant offers a romantic experience, it would be best to take your partner along and wow them with the place. So, are you ready to reserve a table at Under yet?