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Sage Gateshead

Foster + Partners 70 million performing arts centre, The Sage Gateshead opened officially to the public on 17 December 2004. With its dramatic shell-like form, the glistening stainless steel clad building perches high above the River Tyne enjoying spectacular views towards Newcastle.

It fulfils three demanding criteria: to create an international centre for musical performance and education, with acoustically excellent auditoria and unparalleled teaching facilities; a major public building that is fully inclusive and accessible for all; and a centrepiece for the regenerated Gateshead Quays area.


The design team worked extensively to ensure the acoustic performance of each auditorium is complimented by its interior design. A palette of curved and profiled solid ash, moulded plywood, and rich cloth is used throughout, with each auditorium distinguished by colour to complete a trio of interiors - golden yellow, deep red and dark blue - that are warm and inviting.

To ensure the world class acoustic performance of the auditoria, a range of techniques was employed to strike the perfect balance necessary to achieve a unique blend of classic and modern acoustics for the performance spaces, with a consistent approach to each space.

Photography by Nigel Young, Foster + Partners