Sage Gateshead

The Sage Gateshead is a regional music centre of international standing, with 

approximately half a million visitors each year. It fills a ‘gap on the map’ for music 
venues in the North-East and has helped to consolidate Tyneside’s position as an arts 
destination. The building forms the heart of an exciting project to regenerate 
Gateshead’s river frontage. It lies alongside the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art 
and the Tyne Bridge with its great arch, which is echoed in the form of the Sage’s roof.  
The Sage 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 an 
acoustically state-of-the-art concert hall that seats up to 1,650 people. The second 
hall can be arranged to suit folk, jazz and chamber performances and seats up to 400 
people. The third space is both a rehearsal hall for the Northern Sinfonia and the focus 
of the Music School. The school is accessible to children, schools and people of all 
ages, raising the profile of the region as an innovative provider of musical education. 
Each auditorium was conceived as a separate enclosure but the windswept nature of 
the site suggested a concourse to link them along the riverfront. As a result the entire 
complex is sheltered beneath a roof that is ‘shrink-wrapped’ around the buildings. 
Containing cafés, bars, shops and box office, the concourse acts as a foyer for the 
auditoria and as a common room for the Music School, which is located beneath it. 
Back-of-house hospitality areas have been kept to a minimum to encourage 
performers to interact with students during the day and to mix with their audiences in 
the bars in the evenings. With its informal atmosphere and unrivalled views out across 
the Tyne, this has become one of the city’s great social spaces.
 
description by architects

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24 photos and 9 drawings

Building Activity