Sage, Gateshead

Foster + Partners
Date Built
Opened 2004
On the south bank of the River Tyne in Gateshead
Foster + Partners describe the Sage as, "one of the city's great social spaces as well as a regional music centre of international standing."  The Sage is actually three separate buildings each home to a performance or practice spaces and heavily insulated one from the other.  Around these buildings is a glass and stainless steel carapace that not only protects visitors from the winds blowing off the Tyne but provides a common concourse for all three spaces.  It is made up of 3,000 steel panels and 250 glass panels.  The glass sections of the outer skin offer those inside a dramatic view of the city of Newcastle and, especially at night, a colourful view of the inside to passers-by.

Foster says of the Sage that it, " ... provides three auditoria and accommodation for the Regional Music School and also acts as a base for the Northern Sinfonia and Folkworks, which promotes folk, jazz and blues performances. The largest of the three main performance spaces is acoustically state-of-the-art and seats up to 1,650 people. The second hall caters for folk, jazz and chamber music, with an informal and flexible seating arrangement for up to 400 people. The third space is a large rehearsal hall for the Northern Sinfonia and also forms the focus of the Music School."

The Sage's website sums up the building this way, "The Sage Gateshead has already become a new landmark on Tyneside, forming the heart of an exciting project to regenerate the area’s river frontage. The site is adjacent to the Stirling Prize-winning Gateshead Millennium Bridge and the Tyne Bridge, with its great arch echoed in the shell-like form of The Sage Gateshead’s roof."