You can’t miss the Sage, the centre for musical education, performance and conferences in Gateshead when you’re standing on the quayside in Newcastle. The modern metal clad structure, sometimes described as looking like a giant silver slug or snail, stands high above the river on the south bank. It’s home to Northern Sinfonia classical orchestra and a is also a base for Folkworks, which promotes folk, jazz and blues performances
The building contains three performance spaces- a large auditorium capable of holding 1,700 people, a 450 seater and a smaller rehearsal and performance hall. They’re independent buildings and the outside shell is effectively a giant tent covering them and protecting them from the elements. The canopy also contains the ticket office, a bookshop and a cafe – a pleasant place to take a coffee or light meal while gazing down over the quayside.
The Sage was designed by Norman Foster and there’s some interesting information about the building and it’s construction on his company’s website.
The building is open to the public during the day so we went inside to have a look.
This is the outside of the main auditorium
Looking down from one of the main auditorium balconies
Inside the main auditorium – the viewing gallery is nearly always open during the day, even during rehearsals – unless the artist objects (few do, apparently). The wood cladding is fantastic and shaped to give the “right” acoustic properties.
View of the Tyne Bridge
View of the Millennium Bridge
Some more shots