Underwater Restaurants – A New Trend?


To begin to describe the importance of food would be a waste of time. Its value is infinite to every breathing species on this planet. As human beings, we’ve always sought things to eat and ways in which to prepare or consume these things. Part of why the restaurant industry won’t ever disappear is quite simply because there isn’t anything else that people enjoy doing more than eating. Our senses ignite at the thought of a good steak or great sushi or delectable pizza and the list goes on and on. But it’s not just the mere thought of eating our favourite food, it’s also the location that determines our actions. Restaurants, especially those that really try, know that quality, location and ultimately ambience all lend weight to the experience of their diners. And what better a place to dine that under the sea?  Norway, the country that’s already clenched the number two spot on the list of the world’s happiest places, is now set to get an underwater restaurant too.

3rd Place isn’t Bad

Norway isn’t the first country to glamourize the idea of dining with an in-depth view of the sea. The Maldives got there first and they were followed by Dubai. Put another way, Asia got there first, the Middle East got there second and now Europe’s gotten there in third place.  Hopefully this trend will travel to more of the great sea-side tourist hotspots such as Cape Town and Australia.  The idea of dining while having a view of the sea beneath the surface of the water is something sure to add mega oomph to one’s dining experience. Mankind’s fascination with the sea is already something that’s somewhat inherent in us all. Maybe it’s the fact that our ancestors crawled out of the water? The fact of the matter is that the sea calls to us, as if beckoning us to return to its beauty, its splendour and its mystery…

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Key Attributes of Underwater Restaurants

There can be no doubt about the design specifications of such a restaurant. Like any structure, it’s meant to fulfil that of both of form and function. In other words it needs to look nice while also working properly. I would imagine that an underwater restaurant would be a real healthy challenge to architects and engineers. In fact it would probably be fair to assume that the scale of a project like this one is equivalent with the erection of a tall building. The Norwegian architecture firm responsible for overseeing the construction of Europe’s first underwater restaurant, Snøhetta, have unveiled plans for a three level structure with a panoramic window that will enable diners to explore the sea floor. Images of the restaurant in its completed state are an absolute pleasure to behold and are already capturing the imagination of would-be diners and visitors. Nestled at an angle of at least 30 to 40 degrees, the restaurant is meant to look like a sunken periscope. Further images unveil a post-modern design with the top view providing what looks like a massive rectangular concrete slab. But those are just the external attributes of the restaurant, which as it turns out, is more than just that.

Environmental Integration

Norway’s ambitions to build an underwater restaurant go further than the mere idea of giving visitors a real in-depth exploration of the ocean floor. The exterior walls of the structure, which will be three feet thick to endure the onslaught of the ocean, will also have a coarse surface to encourage the growth of mollusks. This will allow the building to become part of the marine landscape as time goes by.

More than a Restaurant

It makes sense that if you’re going to build such an ambitious restaurant and place it in the sea, that it should provide more than a place at which you can take in the breath-taking views of nature while filling your tummy.  A total of three levels – a cloak room at the coastal level, a champagne bar at the second level and the restaurant at the third – one defines the entire structure. However, outside of operating hours, the restaurant will serve as a scientific laboratory at which researchers will be able to study various facets of marine biology.

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