Ala Champ


A Rich Cultural History Combined with a Refined Design Aesthetic at this Modern Luxe Hotel


An Intimate Luxury Hotel that Entwines Traditional Japanese Dining, Architecture and Hospitality with Modern Elegance


A Pure Interior Led By Playfulness and Surprise

The Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre

The Charred-Brick 'Black Box' Presenting The Beauty Of Theatre & Performance


British Artist Luke Jerram’s Explores The Vastness of Our Earth


The Legacy Remains: Merging Art & Fashion, East & West, Tradition & Technical Innovation


Local and Luxurious, A Melbourne Boutique Hotel That Gets It Right

Naoshima Ryokan ROKA

Designed by Okayama-based studio Nottuo, a New Modern Stay on Japan’s ‘Art Island’

Restaurang ÄNG

NORM Architects Creates A Light-Filled Glasshouse For The Michelin-Starred Restaurant


In The Quiet Backstreets Of Kyoto's South Higashiya, Find A Master Craftsman


As Ever, The Joy Of Movement & Ease of Pleats Prevails

Serpentine Pavilion 2022

Artist Theaster Gates Designs the 21st Pavilion


Argentinian-Australian Designer Alexander Lotersztain's Ode to Brutalism

Serpentine Pavilions 2000-2021

A Champ Online Retrospective Of Two Decades of The Radical Architectural Event


The Art Gallery of South Australia Presents Japan's Avant-Garde Ceramics


The Beauty Of Indian Textile Craftsmanship In ISSEY MIYAKE Sub-Brand HaaT's SS22 Collection

RIHGA Royal Hotel Osaka Main Lounge

A 1973-Designed Lounge With An Indoor Flowing River & Cumulus Glass Ceiling

September, 2019
RIHGA Royal Hotel Osaka | Photo: © Joanna Kawecki | Ricoh GR2

Stepping inside the RIHGA Royal Hotel Osaka’s Main Lounge area, it’s hard to believe that such a place exists.

As kimono-wearing waitresses greet you, a sense of true Japanese hospitality begins. The auburn and viridian green interior blends with a sparkling cloud-like chandelier overhead. Amongst the carpeted interior, it’s most surprising to find a quietly flowing river, where large stones and a carpeted bridge connects the lounge floor. Intended as an imitation of the Heian era, the inclusion of real water connecting with the outdoor garden is as authentic as can be. It’s an impressive feat of design that certainly stand the test of time.

Designed in 1973 by renowned Japanese architect Isoya Yoshida (and engineered by Takenaka Corporation) the lounge sees perfect proportions between tables and columns, allowing enough space for a feeling of intimacy with openness. With spectacular height and tall glass windows facing the outdoor waterfalls, the interior feels spacious and abundant with light. If there was a Feng shui specialist inspecting the design, it would wholeheartedly get a green light.

The generous lounge interior is supported by six looming, tiger-lacquered columns that include small specks of gold. As light refracts from the columns, its reverberated back again from the ceiling’s overarching glass chandeliers designed by Tada Minami.  Designed at thin rods of glass and suspended at alternating lengths, as clusters they together form a number of cumulus clouds.

Here however don’t forget that we are in Osaka, where exuberant and vibrant personalities exist and where you will most likely have a jolly group in the neighbouring table. This charm only adds to the lounge’s spectacular interior, making it one of the most impressive designs to still exist.

RIHGA Royal Hotel Osaka | Photo: © Joanna Kawecki | Ricoh GR2
RIHGA Royal Hotel Osaka | Photo: © Joanna Kawecki | Ricoh GR2
RIHGA Royal Hotel Osaka | Photo: © Joanna Kawecki | Ricoh GR2

RIHGA Royal Hotel Osaka Main Lounge
5-3-68 Nakanoshima, Kita Ward
Osaka, 530-0005 Japan

RIHGA Royal Hotel Osaka | Photo: © Joanna Kawecki | Ricoh GR2

Words: Joanna Kawecki
Photography: Joanna Kawecki (RICOH GR2)

September, 2019