The Sage Building – Gateshead

This is the Sage building in Gateshead. Mason UK installed these floors in 2003 and the building opened in 2004. The FSN jack up floating floors in the rehearsal rooms in the Music Education Centre.

The Sage Gateshead includes two auditoria with outstanding acoustics, a rehearsal space and a 25-room Music Education Centre – each conceived as a separate enclosure. The windswept nature of the site led Fosters to create a welcoming covered concourse along the waterfront to link the various spaces. As a result the entire complex is sheltered beneath a broad, enveloping stainless steel roof that is ‘shrink-wrapped’ around the buildings beneath. This extends over the Concourse, which acts as a foyer for the auditoria and hospitality areas for performers, audiences and students alike, offering unique views out across the Tyne.

The centre design incorporates a curved glass and stainless steel building created by Foster and Partners, Mott MacDonald (building services), Buro Happold (structural engineering) and Arup (acoustics). Situated overlooking Newcastle and Gateshead Quaysides, the Gateshead Millennium Bridge, and the Tyne Bridge. Foster and Partners were selected following an architectural design competition managed by RIBA Competitions.

Planning for the centre began in the early 1990s, when the Northern Sinfonia orchestra, with encouragement from Northern Arts, began working on plans for a new concert hall. They were soon joined by regional folk music development agency Folkworks, which ensured that the needs of the region’s traditional music were taken into consideration; folk music is well represented in the Sage’s programme of events, alongside jazz, acoustic, classical, indie, world, electronic, country and dance. Practice spaces for professional musicians, amateurs and students were an important part of the provision.

The planning and construction process cost over £70 million, which was raised primarily through National Lottery grants. The contractor was Laing O’Rourke. The centre has a range of patrons, notably Sage Group which contributed a large sum of money to have the building named after it. Sage plc has helped support the charitable activities of The Sage Gateshead since its conception. The venue opened over the weekend 17 – 19 December 2004.

The Sage website:

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