It’s not as if we needed more reasons to visit Norway, but the opening of ‘Under’, the largest underwater restaurant in the world definitely gives added incentive to plan a trip to this gorgeous Scandinavian country. Norway is perhaps best known for its fjords (those long, narrow inlets with steep cliffs created by glaciers) and its stunning views of the Northern lights.
But what is lesser known is the region’s special relationship with water. Be it coastlines, lakes or rivers, water is abundant in Norway, and its citizens make the most of it. ‘Under’ is the perfect celebration of the Norwegian people’s appreciation of their natural resource, and desire to preserve it. For example, not only does the restaurant serve up delicious dishes made with fresh and locally sourced ingredients, but it also operates as a marine biology research center.
In Norwegian, ‘under’ translates to both ‘below’ and ‘wonder’, and upon first glance, one can see why this name is a perfect description of their diners’ experience. Located in the country’s southern district, Lindesnes, the building itself is just as fascinating as the restaurant’s unique concept. The 111-foot long structure is half-sunken into the sea, so what you see from land is only part of the building. protruding from the water’s surface.
The structure was built in a way that ensures it will (eventually) fully integrate into its marine environment. It’s concrete outer layer will act as an artificial reef, encouraging organic growth, as well as providing a protective shield against the rough sea conditions. Ultimately, Under is much more than a tasty dining experience. It is an education about the importance of preserving the ecosystems that surround us and sustain our lives. It also challenges our perception of boundaries, by placing its diners between above and below, between land and sea, and ultimately, between two worlds.