Another reason why we’re always on top of the game

An interior that makes you feel like you’re on top of the world

real. space agency designed the interior of the temporary rooftop bar Ontop, on the 6th floor of the former Mercator building in Antwerp. By keeping various original elements and strengthening the space’s corporate, nineties-driven character, we created a hidden oasis amidst a busy city.

Creating a top experience, inspired by Generation Alpha

The story of Ontop is closely connected to the story of the Mercator building on the edge of Antwerp’s inner city. When employees of Antwerp Province left this building to start working in their brand-new headquarters, new opportunities arose. Triple Living, the City of Antwerp and Tastemakers joined forces to turn the building into Alpha, described as ‘a hub where people come to inquire and get inspired. And, why not, to have fun ...’ As an innovative horeca concept creator, Tastemakers got the chance to turn the 6th floor into a rooftop bar, which was to become Ontop.

Gordon Gekko’s corporate grandeur

On the top floor, where the boardroom and the bar of the office building used to be, real. space agency restyled the spaces to create the perfect atmosphere for Ontop. The space itself already provided tons of inspiration, thanks to its ‘retro corporate’ office vibe, which we elaborated further. Entering Ontop, you got the feeling you were about to meet Gordon Gekko, the financial mogul impersonated by Michael Douglas in the 1987 movie Wall Street. The location’s grandeur was boosted even more by the large terrace, where you could enjoy a stunning view on Antwerp while taking a sip of your drink.

Keeping and strengthening the original character

Overall, we respected the space’s original character by leaving many elements untouched, such as the 12,5-meter broad table and the wooden bar. To strengthen the effect of a nineties-inspired lounge, we placed tapestry and created a ‘corporate garden’ of office plants. We also added furniture with rounded shapes, which we found on second-hand websites – a sustainable way to find characterful objects. Furthermore, we used vertical blinds (a typical office attribute back in the day) to divide the space into smaller units.

In the (On)top 10 of most Instagrammable spots

With Ontop, real. space agency managed to create an attractive universe filled with era-defining flair, which boasts a unique charm both during the afternoon and in the evening. It turned out to be a well-loved pop-up, which caught the eye – and the smartphone lens - of many enthusiastic visitors. For a while, it even made it into the top 10 of most Instagrammable spots in Antwerp.

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