The Sage Gateshead

The Sage Gateshead is a unique looking building that is located at the south bank of the River Tyne northeast of England. It forms part of the Gateshead Quays development which also includes the BALTIC Center for Contemporary Art and the Gateshead Millenium Bridge. The primary use of this unique building is for musical education, performances and also used for conferences.

Sage Gateshead History

Planning for the construction of a center where musical performances in the area can be held and preserved started at around the 1990’s. It was initially planned as a new concert hall where the region’s traditional folk music can be preserved and experienced. An important part of the plan was to also have practice spaces built for the professional musicians as well as students and amateurs that live in the area.

The planning and construction of the building was funded mainly by National Lottery grants. But there were also other contributions coming from other sources like the Sage Group, which contributed a large sum in order to have the building named after it.  Construction of the building started around 2001. It was eventually finished in 2004 and was opened to the public in December of the same year. The complex took around 70 million UK pounds to construct.

Sage Gateshead Features

The Sage Gateshead is composed of a center that is designed as a curved glass and stainless steel building shaped with a rounded shell-like exterior. It was designed by the architectural firm Foster and Associates. It was built in an area that was once an industrial wasteland.

The Sage Gateshead is composed of three separate performance spaces. Hall One is a 1,700 seater performance hall. Hall Two can seat around 400 people. The third is a small performance and rehearsal hall called the Northern Rock Foundation Hall. From a structural standpoint, the three halls are actually three separate buildings in order to prevent noise and vibration to travel in between them. Its famous and massive glass and steel shell covers the three buildings, making it look like a single structure.

The Sage Gateshead was built using a different type of concrete that contains extra air bubbles for better sound proofing and acoustics. The glass shell uses a total of 3,500 sq. meters of glass and 3,043 steel panels.  Hall One was designed to be an acoustically perfect space that was modeled after the famous Musikverein in Vienna. The smaller Hall Two is considered as probably the only ten-sided performance space in the world.

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