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Lunch under water: in March 2019 the Periscope restaurant will open doors in Norway

24.07.2018
Lunch under water: in March 2019 the Periscope restaurant will open doors in Norway

 

The first underwater restaurant in Europe will open in spring 2019. The restaurant is being built near the Norwegian village of Båly. Famous architects from the Snøhetta architectural bureau came up with the idea. They selected the southernmost point of the Norwegian coastline, the Cape of Lindesnes, home to a famous lighthouse and museum dedicated to its history. A research centre will also be established here. In actual fact you will be able to observe the underwater world through a vast panoramic window round the clock in any season and in any weather. 

 

The building recalls a sunken ship. Furthermore the marine environment will become part of its interior. The structure will be lowered five metres below the water’s surface. Concrete walls about one metre thick will protect the building from the adverse impact of the sea. Translated from the Norwegian, the word  Under means “miracle”. Moreover visitors to the restaurant will experience this personally: they will dine at a depth of five metres surrounded by denizens of the sea. Over time the concrete structure will also become part of the marine environment – when it becomes overgrown with marine life and shells and molluscs settle there.

 

Image taken from under.no

 

The underground restaurant designed by the Snøhetta architectural bureau will bring to mind a massive periscope made out of rough concrete. The end section of the building will rest on a gangway, while the remainder will be located at the bottom of the sea about five metres deep. Arne Marthinsen, Project Manager at SubMar Group, a group of companies responsible for the marine operations on the project, explains: “The harsh, rough conditions in Lindesnes compelled the designers to pay particular attention to the structure and quality of the building materials. The structure must be able to withstand enormous natural forces from the sea, the changing weather and powerful winds. Therefore, when designing the structure, it was essential that we did not select  a geometric shape that might challenge the rolling of the waves. We had to find a shape that would co-exist with them.”

 

 

“In collaboration with academic communities, we scrutinised the weather data in this district, and also took account of the scenario of an “extreme wave” (according to statistics, such a high wave  normally occurs about once every hundred years). Specialists from Asplan Viak determined that the walls of the outer structure should be made from reinforce concrete and be 0.5 metres thick.

 

Image taken from snohetta.com

 

Construction work on the restaurant started on 15 January 2018.  BRG is responsible for this work. The structure is assembled on a barge. Once the construction has been completed, it will be lowered into the sea and anchored on a foundation on the ocean floor. Then work on the interior will begin. Marthinsen says: “The “periscope” structure will weigh 1,500 to 2,000 tonnes.”  After immersion in the sea, the structure will be attached to steel rods, which are inserted and anchored in holes at the bottom of the sea. “This operation will be the most challenging part of the project. We have exact calculations which tell us where and how to lower the construction into the sea, but I must admit I will only be relieved once the work is done.”

 

Image taken from under.no

 

Arne Marthinsen says: “Under will become the biggest underground restaurant in the world.” He and his colleagues have made all the necessary calculations and planned the construction, delivery and installation of the building under water, and also calculated the loads that it can withstand from natural forces. 

 

“A panoramic window, about 11 metres long and three and a half metres high, which will provide a fantastic view of subsea life, will also be able to withstand the harsh underwater conditions and vast water pressure.”  

 

Image taken from snohetta.com

 

As soon as the restaurant is installed at the bottom of the sea, interior construction work will start. The restaurant will have three levels: the entrance area on the shore at the top, the “mezzanine” with bar in the middle and the kitchen, and the premises of the restaurant at the bottom under water. Unique power ventilation, water and sewage solutions were developed specifically for the project. 

 

Gaute Ubostad and co-owner of the Under restaurant says: “The interior will have a dark wooden finish, which will work as a contrast to the rough concrete.”

 

 

Interior

 

The look of the restaurant will be based on natural colours. The entrance area will be inspired by the natural hues of the coastal zone, muffled by the colours of the shells, rocks and sand cast out onto the sea shore, while the darker blue and green colours of the sea will prevail in the bar area on the central floor.  The lower level – the restaurant – will be finished with oak as a contrast to the rough concrete of the exterior. Only materials that create a good climate in the premises are being used for the finishing.  

 

Image taken from snohetta.com

 

The restaurant will also become a centre of research. The researchers will give pointers on how to create the optimum terms and conditions to ensure that fish and molluscs live right next to the restaurant. To avoid disturbing the denizens of the sea, the restaurant’s lighting will be muted. Information plates will be installed near the roads leading to the restaurant. They will describe the biodiversity of the denizens of the sea on the Norwegian coastline.

 

Image taken from snohetta.com

 

Background information on the project

 

Authors: Architectural bureau Snøhetta

Weight of the structure: 1,500-2,000 tonnes

Parameters: Thickness 26.5 m; width 12.5 m

Exterior walls: 0.5 m; reinforced concrete

Underwater panorama window: Thickness 0.32 m, width 11 m, height 3.5 m

Restaurant: 265 square metres

Central level: 139 square metres

 

 

Read more about construction: under.no 

 

Header Image: under.no 

 

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