Sage Gateshead is a music education and concert centre located on the south bank of the River Tyne in Gateshead. Designed by Foster and Partners and completed in 2004, the building is an example of high-tech architecture and 'blobitecture'.
The building comprises three performance spaces which are acoustically independent, separated from one another to prevent noise transfer. Due to strong coastal winds, and a sometimes inclement climate, it was decided to group the structures together under a single protective cover.
The three independent, reinforced concrete structures containing the performance spaces are expressed on the outside by the undulation of the roof. To improve the acoustic performance of the structures, a specially-designed 'spongy' concrete mix was used with an increased air capacity.
The curved shell roof is made of 3,500 sq. m of trapezoidal glass panels and 3,043 stainless steel panels. Reaching a height of over 40 m, the shell roof is supported by four steel arches with a span of 80 m. The roof wraps in organic curves around the structures it contains, but does not touch them.
As well as rejuvenating the former industrial wasteland of the Tyne south bank, the building has received awards for its use of cutting-edge technology, structural design and acoustic engineering.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Building of the week series.
- Centre Pompidou.
- Elbphilharmonie Hamburg.
- Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao.
- High-tech architecture.
- Kunsthaus Graz.
- London Design Museum.
- MAAT, Lisbon.
- National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing.
- Niteroi Contemporary Art Museum.
- Norman Foster.
- Rose Museum.
- Royal Albert Hall.
- Scottish Parliament Building.
- The Atomium.
- The Louvre.
- Titanic Belfast.
- Unusual building design of the week.
- Zenith de Strasbourg.
Featured articles and news
Erno Goldfinger's family home and modernist masterpiece - 2 Willow Road, Hampstead.
IHBC article asks - is the Bonfield Review blind to traditional buildings?
Do you know what an onigawara is? Find out here.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble on how to achieve a better investment framework for Africa.
3 ways the world’s fastest growing economies can close the infrastructure gap.
The sooner early warning notices can be appreciated as of mutual benefit rather than one-sided advantage, the better.
BSRIA responds to government green storage announcement.
What is phenomenology and how does it relate to the built environment?
Read about Belgrade's Brutalist landmark - the Western City Gate.
Read about the measures that can be taken by individuals to protect and minimise exposure to outdoor sourced air pollution.
Have a look at some of the most impressive concert stage designs of all time, including Pink Floyd, U2, Rolling Stones, and more...