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Under is developed by Snøhetta, the world renown Norwegian practice of architecture. Located on the coastline by the village of Båly, half of the structure appears to sink to the bottom of the of the North Atlantic, resting five meters beneath sea level.

The structure is designed to become an integral part of the environment, acting as an artificial reef. Its coarse concrete structure makes it easy for mussels to cling to its surface, which will attract marine life, and help increase biodiversity while naturally rinsing the sea water.

The lighting designed to harmonize with the surrounding nature and seasonal changes.

Liquid Light

Research shows that light has a significant impact on the ocean’s ecosystem, and together with marine biologists, ÅF Lighting tested different lighting solutions and measured the effect on local marine life.  Thus, the lighting concept at Under extends beyond the interiors into the water to measure the effects of light according to luminous emittance and spectral distribution. The idea is to attract various species that will be visible from the restaurant, without harming the natural environment.

“By adding light to the area around the submerged restaurant, we can attract fish and observe the marine life at night. The light sources and amount of light will affect the marine species, depending on the light source”. Explains, Morten Jensen, Light Bureau’s Country Manager in Norway.

With a direct view of the ocean, through a huge window, visitors will gain an undersea experience out of the ordinary.

“Our main challenges were to maintain a natural light and to create a safe atmosphere at the bottom of the ocean for the visitors. Due to the minimal amounts of daylight below the sea, and with a natural reference to the theme of the restaurant, we envisioned that the lighting ’floats’ into the room where it is needed. It is finely tuned to the surroundings inside the restaurant and designed in harmony with the nature around with an aim of creating a visual ecosystem”, says Morten Jensen.

By use of LED lights in a matrix located in the ceiling, the light sources are small with good glare control, which makes them almost invisible. Technically, Liquid Light consists of data harvested from different sensors, for instance at Under, infrared sensors detect heat, while acoustic detectors respond to sound frequencies in the room. The data is then interpreted and transformed into light scenarios constantly changing and adapting to its milieu and the people using the space.

The restaurant is planned to function both as a culinary experience in spectacular surroundings and as a research center for marine life.

Read more about the project on Under’s website, which was also designed by Snøhetta.

Owner: Stig and Gaute Ubostad
Lighting design: Light Bureau
Architect: Snøhetta
Electrical engineer: Tratec Teknikken AS
Suppliers: iGuzzini, Nortronic, MakingMatters, Fiberoptisk, Fagerhult, Stokkan Lys, Delta Light  Luminator & Atendi
Installer: Tratec Teknikken AS
Photographer: Tomasz Majewski