Semua House in KL

Opened way back in 1985, Semua House is a familiar name among Kuala Lumpur folks. Many of us can recall popping by this shopping complex, with its orange facade and time-worn signboard along Jalan Bunus, to shop for festive necessities and fuel up at the food court.

The nostalgic building has since been given a major makeover from within – the mom-and-pop shops and faded interiors are now long gone. Replacing them are public art installations, IG-worthy lepak corners, and artsy workshops, with the mall set to reopen officially in May 2024.

Built in the 1980s as a mall for locals

Exterior - Semua House in KL
Image credit: Google Maps

Kuala Lumpur has developed majorly over the years, with historical structures transformed into modern buildings. Along with its development, stories from its past continue to reside in some cherished buildings – revamped but still carrying the golden memories of the yesteryears.

One of them is Semua House, a 21-storey building with offices and over 40 retailers selling everything from haircuts to jewellery. Homegrown HABIB Jewels from Penang also opened their first store in KL here.

pop-up stores - Semua House in KLSemua House was once a popular shopping centre during the festivities.
Image credit: Tripadvisor

Conveniently located among other golden hotspots in the city such as SOGO and Pertama Complex, the mall was once swarmed with visitors, particularly on the weekends.

Old shops - Semua House in KL
Image credit: Daily Dose Of Chemo via Blog

It officially opened on 11th November 1985, promising shoppers that they “would not have to leave until it is time to go home” when they visited the mall. It also had an almost-full occupancy rate upon opening, with a 60-table snooker centre, food court, tailors, and a bazaar welcoming shoppers.

Old newspaper announcement - Semua House in KL
An announcement of Semua House’s grand opening.
Image credit: The Star

However, footfall at the once-bustling mall began to wither down due to a combination of trendy malls emerging in its vicinity and the Covid-19 pandemic. With many shops closing its doors, and a noticeable lack of maintenance in its public spaces, there were rumours that the mall’s management would opt for closure.

Sure enough, tenants were told to vacate the mall in September 2022, as reported by The Star.

Old food court- Semua House in KLThe food court in the mall’s basement has been around since its opening.
Image credit: The Star

An artsy hub with workshops & cosy lepak corners

Semua House in KL - rest area

Fast forward to the present, and Semua House has been given a face-lift after a good 3 years of renovation. It’ll officially open in May 2024, but this hasn’t stopped curious city-dwellers from exploring the upcoming urban mall already as it’s currently hosting pre-opening events.

Semua House in KL - open space

The revamped 5-storey mall has been transformed into a modern industrial-style space, with bare concrete surfaces and pops of colours from tiled floors, art installations, and vendors.

Its open concept allows natural light and wind to flood the area. But not to fret about the heat, as overhead fans are placed strategically to help cool visitors down when the weather gets too hot.

Semua House in KL - main stairs

Taking centre stage at the mall – and on our Instagram feed in recent days – is the mall’s main stairs that’s illuminated by ambient lighting from below each step. If there’s one thing millennials and the young at heart enjoy, it’s snapping cool pics for the ‘Gramwe reckon that it’ll become a popular backdrop for OOTD shots, if not as a lepak spot.

Semua House in KL - art installation

Further adding to the vibrancy of the mall are the various arts and crafts to be discovered at different corners. Each floor incorporates local touches such as a hanging display of plastic colanders, a common staple in our local kitchens, and kain batik, all infusing the space with an artsy ambiance.

Semua House in KL - decoration

Beyond just marvelling at the public art installations, there’s a designated floor for workshops hosted by local artists on the 3rd floor that helps to spotlight homegrown talent.

Semua House in KL - art corner

Currently ongoing are a tailoring and batik painting workshops, which come with a participation fee and are available at specific times during the day.

Semua House in KL - balcony area
You’ll find many different places to rest your legs at in the mall, including a spacious balcony where lounge chairs are set out.

There will be a collection of retailers set to open at the mall too, with signboards and storefronts for homegrown names such as TOPGIRL and KA IN spotted here already.

Dine at the mall’s new food hall, Semua Rasa

Semua Huse in KL - food vendors

Food is second to none for locals, and the choices at the all-new Semua Rasa – the mall’s new cafeteria – may just be your next food haunt. Located on the Lower Ground floor, the chic new food hall has plenty of tables and rows of vendors for you to check out once it officially opens.

Semua House in KL - dining area

Currently, they are hosting food vendors such as Bao Guys, Belinjo, and Mee Biang Biang for Ramadan till 7th April from 4pm till midnight, so you can feast on local delights.

Explore the revamped Semua House in KL

As the saying goes – out with the old and in with the new. The revamped Semua House has managed to capture the charm of the golden days with its industrial-chic architecture, but not forgetting on the new with the addition of ‘Grammable corners and a food court that welcomes homegrown brands serving just-as-delicious local food.

Address: Jalan Bunus 6, City Centre, 50100, Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: 10am-8pm, Daily
Contact: 03-2693 5899 | Semua House’s website

For more latest openings in KL, check out ‘Attack On Titan’ exhibition and our guide to The Exchange TRX.

Photography by Yusintha.

Cover image adapted from: @heartpatrick via Instagram, The Smart Local Malaysia

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