The Sage Gateshead is a centre for musical education, performance and conferences, located in Gateshead
It opened in 2004 and occupies a curved glass and stainless steel building, the planning and construction process cost over £70 million, which was raised primarily through National Lottery grants. The Sage Gateshead is also available as a conference venue: for example it hosted the Liberal Democrat Party conference in March 2012.
Wikipedia tells us that the building contains three performance spaces; a 1,700-seater, a 450-seater and a smaller rehearsal and performance 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.
The building is open to the public throughout the day.
Visitors can see rehearsals, soundchecks and workshops in progress. It has five bars, a brasserie, the “Sir Michael Straker Café”, and “The Barbour Room” – a multi-purpose function room which holds around 200 people.
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