Above and below the ocean, Lindesnes, Norway


137 Soft Cells panels by Kvadrat Acoustics upholstered in a specially developed textile Under – named after the restaurant for which it was developed; 126 Soft Cells Broadline planar panels, 11 Soft Cells Free-Form concave panels

Additional project facts
Acoustics: the Soft Cells panels performs according to Class A as per ISO 11654/EN ISO 354
Flammability: the Soft Cells panels performs according to B-s1, d0 as per EN13501-1
CE Marking: the Soft Cells panels comply with the EU-harmonized product standard for suspended ceilings (EN-13964)
Ivar Kvaal

Above and below the surface

The ceiling passage at Under, an iconic under-sea restaurant designed by Snøhetta architects, features Soft Cells panels in different geometries upholstered in the multicoloured custom textile Under. The solution is pioneering: each of the multicoloured panels has a unique geometry and look.

As you ‘go under’ into the dining area, which looks out at marine life, the ceiling, which unites concave and planar Soft Cells panels, creates an immersive experience. The acoustic environment steadily becomes crisper and stiller, while the colours melt from light reds to dark greens and blues.

The result of intensive collaboration between Kvadrat and Snøhetta, spanning well over a year, the Kvadrat Acoustics ceiling solution meets the stringent functional and regulatory requirements of the project: industrial-life, top-tier fire-retardancy, optimal acoustic conditioning and seamless integration with lighting fittings.
Reflecting this, Kvadrat Acoustics developed a special fitting so the light spots in the ceiling can be individually angled to accommodate the curvature of the ceiling as well as avoiding any reflection in the large window. The team also organised installation and perfect alignment of the pattern on all the panels.

Art on the ceiling
The textile Under was developed based on a vision of the architects, who wanted a richly structured, multicoloured textile for the restaurant. Snøhetta have worked with Kvadrat for many years and initiated a new collaboration with Kvadrat’s Custom Made Products department, CMP.

CMP identified a proven Trevira CS quality that would meet the necessary fire safety as well as the acoustic requirements.

Next, a series of workshops with Snøhetta to define the final design followed. These explored which technical solution would best realise the goal of moving from light to dark, and create an increasingly still acoustic environment when travelling down into the dining area.

Under comes in 11 custom colours and sits at the apex of textile craftsmanship. Most of the design’s yarn tones are custom-made, then woven into heavy bundles, which each comprise unique tone-in-tone combinations.

As each of the colours has its own repeat, Under’s pattern is always changing. Exceptionally, the eye-catching gradients travel from both top to bottom and left to right. This instils the ceiling with extraordinary vibrancy: like the ocean, it constantly ebbs and flows.

Henrik C. Bagge-Nielsen, CMP: “At Kvadrat Custom Made Products we offer a custom-service. Working on over 300 projects a year, we build on over 40 years’ experience of learning, observing and translating designer data into reality. This enabled us to develop and deliver Under in a year. We know Snøhetta always seek the extraordinary. And the way Under flows across the panels is art on the ceiling.

A tapestry of geometries
Like Under, the Kvadrat Acoustics ceiling solution is also highly advanced. The panels, as with all Kvadrat Acoustics solutions, are custom-made for a perfect fit. They were produced, delivered and installed by Kvadrat Acoustics.

In addition to producing technologically-challenging concave acoustic panels, Kvadrat Acoustics also ensured the stripes of Under’s pattern align perfectly, across every single panel. This was achieved through meticulous attention-to-detail when upholstering the panels.

From a purely functional perspective, the Kvadrat Acoustics solution meets the demanding standards of the project. It not only provides Class A sound absorption performance; it also meets the stringent fire safety standards that the restaurant, with its unique location, demands.

Furthermore, for this particular project, Kvadrat Acoustics developed a special fitting for the 394 LED spots integrated in the ceiling. This enabled the electrician, whom the Kvadrat Acoustics installers worked closely with, to precisely position each one at an optimal angle”.

Thomas Lorenzen, Sales Manager Europe, Kvadrat Acoustics: “The Kvadrat Acoustics ceiling solution at Under looks beautiful and delivers industrial-life, optimal acoustic conditions – while meeting the demanding FR requirements of the restaurant. Everything about it expresses high quality, from the way the panels exactly align to the seamless integration of the spots.

A creative collaboration with deep roots
Kvadrat and Snøhetta have collaborated on many projects, over a period lasting well over a decade. This includes a number of acclaimed venues, such as the Oslo Opera House and the National Museum for Norway.

Thomas Lorenzen, Sales Manager Europe, Kvadrat Acoustics: “The ceiling at Under is outstanding both functionally and aesthetically – it makes a powerful statement about the excellent, long-standing collaboration we enjoy with Snøhetta.”