Cover Photo: Colony Coworking Space KL

Fuel the mind, body and soul at these cool and trendy creative spaces This article was originally published on October 29, 2019 and updated on December 17, 2021.  

1. REXKL

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 opening in early 2019, it has played host to a hive of activities from markets and exhibitions to musical performances, including the Kancil Awards.

See also: Meet The Malaysian Architects Rebooting Heritage Buildings

 

2. 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. 

3. The Grounds by BH

The Ground's minimalist and industrial-themed interiors offer plenty of space for creative decor and a variety of indoor events against eye-catching views of a lush green garden. A subsidiary of the Brick House Group, The Grounds by BH offers catering and event planning services to make your year-end party planning as smooth as can be. 

Halls A and B are interconnected, collectively accommodating up to 500 pax or easily utilised separately for smaller, more intimate events. The Lounge and Bar, meanwhile, can comfortable seat up to 100 pax.

Looking for something a little less minimalist and more boho chic for a bridal shower? Check out the Rogue & Rouge bridal parlour, lovingly decked out in blush pink and soft grey with gold accents and warm lighting throughout.         

Related: 5 Restaurants & Cafés In Petaling Jaya That Are Great For Social Distancing

4. The Godown

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 in 2019, 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. 

See also: Expert Tips On Starting Your Own Malaysian Art Collection

5. Colony KL

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 five locations around the Klang Valley, each Colony branch 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.

See also: Get To Know The Drawing Room: Colony's New Speakeasy Lounge In Kuala Lumpur

6. 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.

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