The Norwegian town of Lindesnes is offering tourists sea view dining with a difference.

At Under, Europe's first underwater restaurant, this freshly opened architectural marvel invites guests to enter the submerged building that slopes down off the rugged Norwegian coastline.

First imagined by the architectural design firm Snøhetta ( meaning 'snow heat' ), the building is formed out of a 34-metre long tube of reinforced concrete.

Seemingly simple: In time Under will become a habitat for marine life. Photo / Supplied
Seemingly simple: In time Under will become a habitat for marine life. Photo / Supplied

Seemingly simple, there's a lot at work beneath the surface of this giant grey monolith.

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The name Under features word play, meaning both 'underneath' and 'amazement' in Norwegian.

That's exactly what you will find at the bottom of this tunnel to the sea bed. A massive window looks out from the restaurant to the sea floor, which the architects liken to "a sunken periscope".

"Under is a natural progression of our experimentation with boundaries," says Snøhetta Founder, Kjetil Trædal Thorsen.

"As a new landmark for Southern Norway, Under proposes unexpected combinations of pronouns and prepositions," he says of the design.

"This will offer you new perspectives and ways of seeing the world, both beyond and beneath the waterline".

Under from above: The name means both 'wonder' and 'below' in Norwegian. Photo / Supplied
Under from above: The name means both 'wonder' and 'below' in Norwegian. Photo / Supplied

Another versatile aspect of the building is its dual use.

As well as the restaurant, Under will be a base for a marine life research centre. Lindesnes is located at the southernmost tip of the Norwegian coastline. It is an area rich in marine biology, which is exposed to dramatic storms and the confluence from two seas – the North Sea and the Baltic.

It is hoped, in time, the concrete hull will function as an artificial reef. The texture of the building is designed to be the perfect habitat for kelp and marine molluscs.

Another important design consideration is the strength of the building. The glass window and shell are designed to withstand the water pressure and harsh sea conditions of the sea, year round.

The Snohetta-designed 40 person restaurant looks out into the North Sea. Photo / Supplied
The Snohetta-designed 40 person restaurant looks out into the North Sea. Photo / Supplied

Which provides a unique, ever changing outlook for the 40 diners – and 16 kitchen staff – housed within the monolith.

The restaurant's head chef Nicolai Ellitsgaard is a Danish expatriate, who knows all about the changeable nature of the Norwegian Cape.

Norma of the north: The restaurant reflects the changable underwater seasons. Photo / Supplied
Norma of the north: The restaurant reflects the changable underwater seasons. Photo / Supplied

"One of my ambitions is to increase awareness among Norwegians and the rest of the world, to help them realise what they have and the incredibly beautiful creatures that make their home along the coastline of the southern part of Norway," the 32 year old told Fine Dining Lovers.

To reflect this, the chef has turned to the waters around the restaurant to resurface a menu of "forgotten underwater delicacies" such as sea truffle, stone crab and squat lobster.

Underwater dish: Long-clawed squat lobster below the murky North Sea. Photo / Getty Images
Underwater dish: Long-clawed squat lobster below the murky North Sea. Photo / Getty Images

Under is the latest imaginative structure designed by the all-Norwegian design firm.
Last year Snøhetta turned heads with their circular design for the Svart hotel.

The flying-saucer-like 360 degree Svart hotel is due to open in 2021 above the Arctic circle near Lofoten, and be entirely self-sufficient for water and energy.