3D ceramics for Octave restaurant, Antwerp

The premium restaurant Octave, named after the chocolate pioneer Octaaf Callebaut, is located in the largest museum of the world for Belgian chocolate. The overall interior design concept comes from the Antwerp-based creative studio real. space agency. The striking point in the central open area on the ground floor is the bar: A real eye-catcher staged with expressive ceramic tiles of Agrob Buchtal.

Opened in March 2019, the Octave restaurant has quickly become a real hotspot for unforgettable moments of enjoyment in Antwerp.

Chocolate as the guiding theme

In order to emphasize the link with the chocolate museum, real. space agency decided both to pick up the tropical origin of the cocoa bean by means of botanical elements and to integrate the industrial aspect of chocolate production into the interior concept. With a coordinated interior and food design, the studio aims at creating unique locations and places which can be experienced with all the senses. For the Octave restaurant, for example, current trends in the food sector have been considered and also the important subject of sensory perception.

Cathinca Arfman, interior designer in charge, used white marble, dark wood or chairs and benches in natural colours for the furnishings, which in turn were confidently combined with industrially connotated materials such as steel, brick walls and concrete floors. The whole ambience is characterized by the charm of the Belle Epoque, a time in which art made its way into everyday life and Belgian chocolate also became more and more popular.

Ceramic Tiles stage eye-catchers

Those who enter the restaurant are inevitably captivated by a bar located centrally in the room. It owes its fascinating effect to the ceramic tile series Craft of Agrob Buchtal, which have been used vertically to serve as a surrounding cladding of the counter. Arfman was particularly fascinated by the 3D effect and the high-gloss surface: "There are certainly other brands supplying tiles with a 3D relief, but only Agrob Buchtal's series was able to offer us this special flamed high-glossy look”.

Craft is a collection which in combination with firing temperature and open flame guidance, enables particularly luminous and intensive colourations. In addition, high-gloss glazes create an impressive visual depth and transparency as well as a lively play of colours.

Today, ceramic tiles are predominantly produced horizontally by rapid firing and in a roller-type kiln. Craft on the other hand, is produced uprightly by long-time firing in the classic tunnel kiln. There, the natural play of the fire creates a natural, archaic look and, in addition, allows results with an unique character.


photos by Marcel van der Burg