Come 2019, a new structure will rise from the sea in the bay of Båly, a fishing village on the cold coast of beautiful Norway. It could easily be mistaken for an alien spaceship stranded on a shoreline, half of its fuselage resting underwater on the sea floor. But this structure won’t host otherworldly lifeforms in suspended animation. It will contain guests of the human kind: Restaurant patrons.
The semi-submerged concrete building is actually a fine dining spot that will allow people to eat seafood and other delicatessen prepared by young Danish chef Nicolai Ellitsgaard, while looking into the freezing waters of the North Sea through giant windows made of acrylic. Designed by Snøhetta–the architecture and design studio based in Oslo and New York–the restaurant will start construction in February 2018. Julie Skogheim, the company’s Marketing Communications Coordinator says that they are shooting to complete it in early 2019. Norway’s coastline has become a hotspot for architectural attractions, as the New York Times recently pointed out. An elegant tourist trap, if you will. She told me via email that “the project is financed by the owners, Under AS–a company where the company Lindesnes Havhotell will have a 65% ownership. The remaning percentages are owned by various local investors.”
Skogheim also told me that the project will also be a platform for education on sea life and the value of the ocean. Outside of restaurant hours, part of the structure will be used by a marine research center “to train wild fish with sound signals, and will study whether fish behave differently throughout different seasons.” This didn’t sound fishy to me until I read this: “The researchers will also help to optimize conditions on the seabed so that fish and shellfish can thrive in proximity to the restaurant.”
Seems like a perfect way to guarantee the freshest lobster and crab one can possibly imagine. Enjoy the facility and the lobster while it lasts, Viking biologists! If this building looks half as good as these renderings, I’m pretty sure Elon Musk or Richard Branson will snatch it up as a temporary lair while they wait for their other spaceships to return home.