The Sage Gateshead is a centre for musical education, performance and conferences, located in Gateshead on the south bank of the River Tyne, in the north-east of England. The venue is part of the Gateshead Quays development, which also includes the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and the Gateshead Millennium Bridge.
The Sage Gateshead contains three performance spaces; a 1,700-seater, a 400-seater and a smaller rehearsal and performance hall, the Northern Rock Foundation Hall. The rest of the building was designed around these three spaces to allow for maximum attention to detail in their acoustic properties. Structurally it is three separate buildings, insulated from each other to prevent noise and vibration travelling between them. The gaps between them may be seen as one walks around inside. A special 'spongy' concrete mix was used in the construction, with a higher-than-usual air capacity to improve the acoustic. These three buildings are enclosed (but not touched) by the now-famous glass and steel shell. Hall One was intended as an acoustically perfect space, modelled on the renowned Musikverein in Vienna. Its ceiling panels may be raised and lowered and curtains drawn across the ribbed wooden side walls, changing the sound profile of the room to suit any type of music. Hall Two is a smaller venue, possibly the world's only ten-sided performance space. The building's concourse was designed to be used for informal music-making. Below the concourse level is the Music Education Centre, where workshops, community music courses and day-to-day instrumental teaching takes place.
Sage Gateshead Building (completed 2004)