Snøhetta : Under

Located in the abyss of the North Sea, Under is the first restaurant in Europe to plunge visitors into the heart of the ocean for a tasting out of time. All sober, the realization of Snøhetta studio offers a privileged panorama to lovers of underwater life.

The Norwegian coastal city of Lensens inaugurates a building designed by the Scandinavian firm Snøhetta, an architectural wood and concrete structure shared by a restaurant owner and research teams on marine biodiversity.
Protected from pressure and erosion thanks to slightly curved half-meter-thick walls, the 34 meter-long monolith takes root on the rocky coastline to plunge its sloping roof into the ocean, going as far as at 5 meters deep in the North Sea. A rough concrete addition to a Scandinavian seascape whose texture encourages the proliferation of algae and molluscs.


Provided with a panoramic eye, the interior of the building - accessed by an entrance covered with calcined oak -, opens generously to the sea: a bay of 3,4 meters high and wide of 11 meters transports the guests into the depths of the brackish. A natural material that can also be found in the flooring of the three levels constituting the place: a lobby on the ground floor and the dining room on the lower floor, able to accommodate up to 40 covered and whose warm atmosphere due to the presence of wood and terrazzo - limiting the feelings of claustrophobia - is mystified thanks to the blue lighting of the marine universe. The set is also equipped with woven fiber acoustic panels whose tones refer to the colors of dawn and contribute to the serenity of the place.

"Under is a natural progression of our experiments on the notions of limits. Between land and sea, the visitor finds himself sometimes immersed in the water, sometimes on the bed of the seabed. " Kjetil Traedal Thorsen, founder and architect, Snøhetta

The last level is occupied by researchers who benefit, in addition to this exceptional observation post, from measurement tools installed on the periphery of the construction to enable them to document the population, the behavior and the diversity of the species. marine.

A lavish and contrasting marriage of landscapes and underwater landscapes.

To learn more, visit the site of Snøhetta

Photographs: Ivar Kvaal

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