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For the Restless
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Norwegian coastline

Architecture Spotlight: Europe’s First Underwater Restaurant

If you’re a longtime AETHER follower, you’re likely familiar with our passion for design beyond our clothes. International architecture firm Snøhetta has long wooed us with their out-of-the-box approach to architecture and design. With an impressive list full of innovative projects in their portfolio (some of which we’ve covered here on the journal: SFMOMA expansion, The 7th Room, and The International Centre for Cave Art), Snøhetta recently set a new bar for innovation with its latest undertaking, Under, Europe’s first underwater restaurant. ↓

Officially opened in March of this year, Under is located at the southernmost point of the Norwegian coastline in Lindesnes, Norway. Built from concrete so that it can withstand stormy weather and rough seas, Under also functions as an artificial reef for kelp and aquatic snails. The 110-foot long structure is half submerged 15 feet below sea level, while the other half is built on top of the rocky coastline. A glass walkway provides guests with an easy route over the jagged edges and rocks to the restaurant's entrance. (Pictured below.) ↓

The restaurant as seen from above.

Upon entering, guests are greeted by oak-paneled walls in the foyer and a giant staircase that leads to two lower levels located beneath the surface of the water, one with a Champagne bar and the other with the main dining hall. Guests eating and drinking on the lower levels take in a truly unique view, looking out at the seabed and flurry of marine life through a 36-foot window. ↓

The 36-foot window offering views of the sea.

With more than 5,300-square-foot of space, Under sits up to 40 guests per night. Naturally, the restaurant has a large selection of seafood, but they also offer a wide variety of dishes featuring locally sourced produce and sustainable meat. There is no shortage of diners eager to experience Under for themselves: The restaurant is fully booked through the rest of the year. If you can't wait until 2020, add your name to the waiting list on Under's website, and keep your fingers crossed. Here, more photos of Under.

The Champagne Bar

The main dining hall