50s to 90s Design Shopping

Northern Salmiya Building Refurbishment

The Northern Salmiya Building is located in the old Salmiya souk on Salem Mubarak Street. It’s over 50 years old, and since I grew up down the street from it, I’ve seen so many shops come and go there.

It’s the same complex that used to house Kids’r’us (Alghanim Automotive before that) and it’s the same building that had the old National/Panasonic store that used to have the NeoGeo in the window display. The corner shop was Boushahri where everyone used to go to get their passport photos taken. Mogahwi was also located there, the first Alshaya stores also all opened there including The Bodyshop, BHS, Mothercare and Next.

The building was also designed by SSH over 50 years ago, the same firm that’s behind JACC, ASCC and the waterfront project.

Recently, the corner of the building was demolished, and a tower was built in its place. It sucks that they demolished part of the building, but now that the tower is up it’s actually not that bad and I’m glad at least that they didn’t demolish the whole thing. What’s great is that they’ve also gone ahead and refurbished the rest of the building with a fresh coat of paint, new lights and even had some oversized signages for some of the stores removed.

The building is looking pretty good now, and I wish more old buildings got refurbished as well. And I don’t mean Dasman Complex style refurbishing where they’re just horribly covering the whole building facade with Alucobond.

If you haven’t been to old salmiya recently you should, it’s really popping. Google Maps

Update: Just found a photo in my archive of the Northern Salmiya Building under construction

13 replies on “Northern Salmiya Building Refurbishment”

Wish they kept the other side of the Souq where family book store used to be instead of having this ugly block coming up.butcat least this looks pretty cool.

not sure if you had a post on the round building where salam mall is now. that area has so many memories.

Any idea what’s gonna be in the new building? Only other thing I noticed was that a small cafe was opening there.

Good research Mark ,u r the only person who reminds us old history of kuwait s architecture and lots of memories with them,Barakallah Feek

The UTC. Sari House, bhs, mothercare, domus scandinavia, Al Nibras, Mobilia House, Al Ritaj- they were all there, taking turns as tenants & calling the North Salmeya building home at different time points in history. It felt so classy and elegant walking down those corridors on a Thursday evening. Used to be magic.

Personally, the South Salmeya building was more alluring and enticing to us than the North Salmeya building ever was. The Family Bookshop, Waleed, Al Amal Fashions & Everyday stores which was subsequently re-branded to Spring Day Co. were among the top draw. Also the KAC staff quarters upstairs made it more gentrified, overall.
Vaguely remember the time when Indian film icons, Rishi Kapoor and Sridevi were briefly in town and could be spotted walking down the Salem Mubarak Street promenade and so too, the Bollywood diva, Rekha back in the early 80s.

The building is pretty much outdated no longer has the avant gard of today’s modern buildings
Would be much better to demolish and build a mix use modern building with good reputable Architect.

I used to live in the South building’s before the 1990 invasion. Lots of good memories there…

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