World’s Largest Underwater Restaurant Is Almost Ready For Guests
The world’s largest underwater restaurant is nearing completion — and it looks like it’s going to make a splash!
Construction of the restaurant, appropriately named Under, began above water on a barge off the coast of Norway for a span of about six months.
The striking structure averages 110 feet in length and looks like a concrete periscope, which is oddly fitting for an underwater restaurant. When the work was finished on the outside of the structure in July 2018, it was towed into place and submerged using containers of water and over 18 anchor points.
Over half of the unique restaurant is submerged, offering unique underwater views from three separate floors within the restaurant through the 11-meter (36 feet) wide panoramic window. About 100 guests at a time will be able to enjoy these stunning views of marine life when the restaurant opens in the spring of 2019, entering the building through a glass walkway that will act as a bridge between the restaurant and the coast.
Designed by the Norwegian company Snøhetta, the restaurant Under will be added to their list of incredible architectural marvels such as the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt, the Oslo Opera House, the National September 11 Memorial Pavilion, and the newly renovated Times Square in New York.
Rune Grasdal, a senior architect at Snøhetta, said the placement of the submerged building was very deliberate. “When the client came to us, they had already done some sketches on another site close to current one, but we convinced them to build a few hundred meters away, where the sea is actually rougher. We thought this would better capture the nature of the area and I think that’s also what makes this more spectacular compared to other underwater restaurants in the world, as they are in very controlled areas,” said Grasdal.
And don’t worry about the safety of this futuristic restaurant. Although the partially-submerged placement of the structure may be reminiscent of — let’s say, the Titanic — fear not. A lot of thought has gone into making the concrete behemoth water-tight. Its underside is made of reinforced concrete, and the structure has been built to withstand the most extreme weather events.
“The first problem is water pressure, as we’re five meters (16 feet) below the surface, but the biggest challenge is the waves. Wind and waves are extreme here. To withstand all these forces, the building is slightly curved, so it can better take to the waves, and it’s thick: half a meter (1.6 feet) for the concrete and about 30 centimeters (1 foot) for the acrylic windows,” said Grasdal.
After several revisions, the design of the structure was simplified, so that the architects could focus on functionality over aesthetics, and make the restaurant sea-worthy. The menu has not been finalized yet, but it will be something to rival other seafood restaurants worldwide. After all, this isn’t just any ordinary restaurant.
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