The largest underwater restaurant in the world opened its doors on the Norwegian coast near the village of Baly last month. Under, as the restaurant is aptly called, can accommodate 100 guests and consists of three layers. Under also means ‘miracle’ in Norwegian.
The restaurant is partly built on top of rocks, and partly the concrete colossus lies five meters below the water on the rocky seabed. The makers report that it is part of the marine life. Guests can not only watch the swimming fish but can also order fresh fish at the restaurant.
In addition to fish and seafood, the restaurant serves poultry and mutton. The sea birds and sheep that occur in the surrounding area are on the menu. Baly is located 400 kilometers southwest of the capital Oslo. The clients are Gaute and Stig Ubostad, who already have a restaurant in the Norwegian district of Lindesnes.
The design was made by Snøhetta, an agency that also created the 9/11 memorial pavilion in New York. The agency was also responsible for renovating Times Square. The Norwegian opera house and Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt also come from the creative minds of Snøhetta architects. In addition to a restaurant, Under will also become a maritime research center.
The construction uses the most recent knowledge and experience that the builders have gained in the offshore industry. The restaurant is completely finished on the ground floor and then launched with a huge tow vehicle. The biggest obstacles the makers had to overcome were the pressure of the water and the waves crashing on the coast, according to designer Rune Grasdal of the architectural office revealed to CNN.
It couldn’t be furious enough for the architect, he says. “When the customer came to us, they had already made some sketches for a location close to the final location. But we convinced them to build a few hundred meters away, where the sea is rougher.”
“We thought that this would better reflect the nature of the environment and I think that this choice makes the restaurant more spectacular than other underwater restaurants in the world because they are in many better-controlled areas.”