The Ca’D’Oro Building

Glasgow (18XX - 1872)

‘Venice comes to Glasgow...'

The Ca’ D’Oro Building sits at the corner of Union Street and Gordon Street. It opened in 1872.

Architect John Honeyman is said to have based his design for what was originally a furniture warehouse, on the “Golden House” in Venice.

It was built using triple-arched cast iron frames with masonry arches above the shops below.

In the early part of the century, the building suffered the indignity of having a two-storey high concrete mansard housing and ballroom added to its roof, along with a profusion of office, restaurant and other functions shared between it and its neighbour; the ‘Maison Centrale’.

The building became known as the Ca’d’Oro in 1927, when a restaurant of that name was opened in the concrete mansard erected on top of the building to the design of J Gaff Gillespie, and completed by Jack Coia.

Initiative by the owner resulted in a new commission for Keppie to demolish the Maison Centrale, and
restore and extend the Ca’d’oro to house new office and retail accommodation.

Specialist skills were deployed in the restoration of masonry, cast iron and stained glass. Despite a serious fire during the course of the early works, the completed project won Civic Trust and Europa Nostra awards and commendations.

The interior of the building and the mansard were destroyed by the blaze in 1987, although the cast iron frame survived.

The building was eventually restored and refurbished, and it reopened in 1990 when it was occupied by Waterstone’s bookshop at street level and offices above.