5 Creative Event Spaces That Should Be On Your Radar
Fuel the mind, body and soul at these cool and trendy creative spaces
Located in bustling Chinatown, REXKL has breathed new life into a landmark along Jalan Sultan that had been left to languish for years. Stripped bare, its massive 60,000 sq ft space is perfect for artists and independent businesses to showcase their talents and wares. Reimagined by architects Shin Chang and Shin Tseng, the same duo behind Chocha Foodstore, the building originally opened in 1947 as a hotel and it became a cinema after that before closing in 2002.
Since it opened earlier this year, there has been a hive of activities from markets and exhibitions to musical performances and, most recently, the Kancil Awards. Kelab Seni Filem Malaysia has also moved its regular screenings to this address. You can also drop in for a pint of craft beer or shop for Fred Perry's iconic polo shirts.
2 Hang Kasturi
Located at a busy intersection of old KL, 2 Hang Kasturi (2HK) is currently leased to Freeform, the company that organises the annual Urbanscapes Festival, one of the longest running creative arts festivals in Malaysia. As such, it's also fondly known as the Urbanscapes House.
The Art Deco building designed by architect Arthur Oakley Coltman served in its early years as the OCBC Bank headquarters and was reopened in 2016 as an events space that has since hosted a number of launches, workshops and exhibitions that champion local creatives such as last year's #REIMAGINEUS curated by Sharmin Parameswaran and Immersio 2.0 by Filamen art exhibitions.
RUANG by Think City
The 2nd floor of 2HK is occupied by Think City, a subsidiary of Khazanah Nasional that works to rejuvenate urban spaces particularly in historic city centres. It uses the space here for complementary activities highlighting urban architecture and design as well as issues faced by the people who dwell in urban hubs.
Every day at noon, the ringing of church bells from nearby St John's Cathedral could be heard inside this old Dutch godown, evoking nostalgia in this rapidly changing city. Since it stopped being a storage, the address has undergone numerous permutations including the infamous Boom Boom Room club in the 1980s and 1990s. Now revamped into a creative space simply called The Godown, it retains the old brick interior, steel staircases and timber mezzanine, and has ambitions of becoming Kuala Lumpur's premier art centre complete with an F&B outlet and garden rooftop overlooking the KL Tower.
Since it opened this year, creative shows have immersed the industrial setting, most notably the Ghost exhibition by Jalaini Abu Hassan and presented by French-Swiss watch brand Bell & Ross. It strives to be a platform for artists to showcase their true potential and an amplifier for the local art scene.
Established in 2017 by husband-and-wife team Timothy Tiah and Audrey Ooi, Colony KL was one of the first to elevate the notion of co-working space in Kuala Lumpur with its imaginative and functional design. Currently in 5 locations around the Klang Valley, each Colony boasts a different design theme.
For instance, the Mutiara Damansara outpost is inspired by Wes Anderson's movies complete with bright yellow and pink colour scheme. Meanwhile, the Colony Star Boulevard in KLCC features dramatic double-storey ceilings that evoke the feel of a stylish Manhattan loft complete with a lush rooftop garden overlooking the Petronas Twin Towers that has served as the setting for a chic wedding.
Events organisers have since discovered the unique appeal of having their events in the various Colony KL spaces, which have hosted everything from a charity yoga with Lulu Lemon to an educational panel discussion with HP Malaysia.