Plans have been revealed for Europe’s first underwater restaurant. “Under,” as the restaurant will be called, will be in the village of Baly on Norway’s craggy southern coast.
Designed by the Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta (who also designed the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt and the Oslo Opera House), the underwater restaurant has a vague resemblance to a sperm whale poking its head out of the water.
Other internet commenters have likened it to a Bond villain’s lair.
Regardless of how viewers interpret the structure, the plans look impressive. The structure is half-sunken 16 feet underwater and features a 36-foot-wide floor-to-ceiling acrylic window that looks out at the sea. The concrete walls will be a meter thick and built to withstand the “pressure and shock from the rugged sea conditions,” according to the firm.
Guests will enter through a cloakroom on the restaurant’s ground level floor. The next floor below will feature a champagne bar and the dining room will be on the bottom floor. Inside, diners will enjoy a menu by Danish chef Nicolai Ellitsgaard Pedersen, likely to feature seafood dishes. It will be able to accommodate between 80 and 100 diners.
The entire building was designed to aid the marine ecosystem, according to Snøhetta. In the off-hours, the restaurant will double as a marine research center. And the building’s concrete shell has a rough surface, specifically meant to attract mussels. Over time, the building “will become an artificial mussel reef that functions dually to rinse the sea and naturally attract more marine life to its purified waters,” the design firm said.
Construction on the restaurant will begin in February 2018. It is expected to be complete by February or March of 2019.