Interior of lost Glasgow Co-operative building revealed

IT WAS once a hive of activity, home to office workers and tradesmen employed by one of the country's largest co-operative groups.

The Gusset Building was built in 1876 and stood in Morrison Street, Glasgow. Pictures: Ben Cooper

The Gusset Building - so called because of its distinctive wedge shape - was built in 1876 for the Scottish Co-operative Wholesale Society (SCWS) and stood a short distance from the Clyde in Morrison Street, Glasgow.

It was said to be the first purpose-built office and warehouse complex of its kind north of the border.

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But no trace of the building survives. A devastating fire ripped through the then deserted property in November 2011 and it was demolished shortly after.

The building once housed various departments of the Scottish Wholesale Co-operative Society (SWCS) Picture: Ben Cooper

Occupying a prominent site in the Tradeston area of the city, it was a familiar landmark to motorists driving south across the Kingston Bridge.

These pictures were taken by photographer Ben Cooper in May 2009. By then the Gusset Building had stood empty for around 20 years.

Its previous owners, the SCWS, was merged with its sister company in England in the 1970s to form a single UK-wide wholesale society, and its operations were gradually wound down.

The SCWS was founded in 1868 for the purpose of manufacturing goods for supply to numerous local co-operative retail societies across Scotland.

The staff of the co-op's in-house magazine were among those based in the building. Picture: Ben Cooper

The Gussett Building once housed the editorial staff of the SCWS’ in-house magazine, which was published until 1978, as well as a large funeral department on the ground floor.

Its importance was downgraded when the SCWS opened a much grander headquarters on the opposite side of Morrison Street.

The impressive Co-operative House was finished in 1893 - complete with elaborately detailed French Renaissance four-storey pavilions.

It still stands today, but was converted into flats in the late 1990s.

The building was topped with an ornate clock

Similar plans were made to convert the Gusset Building after it was bought by the Belfast-based property developers Benmore Group bought it from the Co-op in September 2007 for £4.2m.

The drum kit suggests the building was laterly used an impromptu rehearsal space
The building was demolished following a fire in November 2011
The building once housed various departments of the Scottish Wholesale Co-operative Society (SWCS) Picture: Ben Cooper
The staff of the co-op's in-house magazine were among those based in the building. Picture: Ben Cooper
The building was topped with an ornate clock
The drum kit suggests the building was laterly used an impromptu rehearsal space
The building was demolished following a fire in November 2011