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Snøhetta, Restaurant, Bålyv

Dinner Under Water: The Under Restaurant by Snøhetta

The restaurant, which will include a research centre for marine biology, is a tribute to the fauna of the sea and the craggy Norwegian coastline. The name Under is a play on words, for it can be translated into ‘miracle’ in Norwegian. Half of the monolithic building is located under the surface of the water. The building itself, which at five metres of depth rests directly on the ocean floor, is meant to become part of the marine environment. Its concrete façade has a rough surface in order to make it easier for molluscs to take hold. Over time, the outer shell will transform into an artificial reef of seashells.

The building can accommodate as many as 100 guests. Accessing the restaurant is an adventure in itself: visitors must first descend three storeys to enter the dining room. The entrance leads down to the coatroom area; in the champagne bar one level below this, an acrylic window marks the transition from coast to ocean. From here, visitors look down onto the restaurant space, where dining tables and several types of seating are arranged in front of a large panoramic window. The massive acrylic windows of the restaurant offer a view of the ocean floor, a view that changes in the different seasons and weather conditions.

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