The curved roof of the Sage is made from 3,000 stainless steel panels and 250 glass panels. Laid flat it would fill two football pitches.
Did you know that there is enough steel in the Sage Gateshead to build a warship! You could make a destroyer like HMS Newcastle and still have enough steel left over to make six Chieftain tanks.
Inside the building are three main concert halls, a music education centre, a cafe and bars. It will provide the home for Northern Sinfonia and Folkworks.
Alongside the Baltic and the Gateshead Millennium Bridge, we now have a new addition to the banks of the Tyne.
The silver curves of the Norman Foster designed Sage Gateshead music centre are certainly a dramatic addition to the river's skyline, but what do you make of it?
Will it add to the re-generation of the area and encourage more musical talent in the region. Or will it just be another expensive white elephant that will find it hard to remain viable once the novelty has worn off?
The shape of the building has generated many descriptions, being likened to an armadillo, a giant maggot, a shell, and even a giant wave. And as it sits next to the "Blinking Bridge", we'd like you to come up with a nickname for it.
I think it was a waste of money. The food is horrible and expensive, it's too big and they could of spemt the money on something like stopping street crime.
Alison from Palma de Mallorca
Having spent the first 24 years of my life in Newcastle I always thought of it as a rather drab city, but each time I return, after living in Spain for nearly 40 years, I find it quite spectacular with the Sage and Millenium bridge dominating the skyline. I, personally, think the Sage a wonderful building and hope to visit the interior on my next visit.
James T again
I would just like to say that the people who hated it's outer look, have you actually been inside and seen the concert halls, or even seen a concert there, or the other activities that go on inside? Think about that, because I'd imagine a lot of you have never heard the term "Never judge a book by its cover"
i live in whitley bay ive never been in the building but ive got to admit it looks very impressive
I'm ashamed to admit I live in Wallsend, and have never visited the Sage! It looks fantastic at night time all lit up, and apparently they have all kinds of musicians work shops? Am I wrong in thinking it is badly advertised, as it seems that the "trainshed" that is the Arena attracts the top bands, and IS advertised really well..! I'd love a look around, but have no idea of what actually goes on there, or opening times, etc!
I love the Sage! I rehearse there with my youth ensembles, and the concert halls are fantastic! Hal 1 has the best acoustics I've heard in a concert hall. It's also good to just go down there for a random walk about if I'm bored, it's a great place to walk around and view. It's very well designed, and I'm extremely glad that it's there. Only REAL let-down is the prices in the Cafe, but you can't have EVERYTHING perfect! By the way I must make a comment, that if you don't like the building, then 1) you're foolish, and 2) you shouldn't make a flippin' post on here!!
I HAVE NEVER VISITED THIS BUILDING BUT IT LOOKS VERY IMPRESSIVE?
I have been to The Sage Gateshead on numerous occasions and yes, there has been slow service, on one occasion there was a near riot from some members of the audience...to be, when the house opened a mere 10 minutes later that they thought it was going to!? Overall, I would be very dubious of any project that opened with perfect service! I'd as if they had wasted public and donated money getting the little evryday foibles organised rather than just jump in an get their feet wet and work on it on the way! The scale of a project like this is beyond immense and if some of you realised what goes on backstage and behind the scenes and all the horribleness that the staff work relentlessly to avoid you seeing.... well waiting for 5 minutes for a cup of coffee would be evidently as superficial as it should be to all of us already! Just enjoy the good stuff, yes, tell them about the not so great stuff so they can fix them, but.... don't beat them around the head with these minor negatives! Some of you tut, tut...if you were as sharp with praise as you were with critiscism, the world would be a fabulous place. Think on! That said you have every right to your opinions........
i think its fab.
I am from Newcastle Australia and whilst visiting your wonderful city of Newcastle in 2003 I viewed unfinished Sage from the Baltic Centre - it looked good then and it looks absolutely outstanding now (viewed on web of course) It is nearly as good as the Sydney Opera House!
The geordie Blob! However I think its a great feature and space to a great part of England!
I always used to view any form of Modern Art with a distinctly jaundiced eye but the Baltic and now the beautiful Sage, with its flowing, organic lines, have started to change all that. Like another contributor, though, I agree that the name is inapppropriate, despite Sage's involvement without which the building might not have been built. It certainly helps to draw the eye away from the depressing mess that is Gateshead town centre, crowned as it still is by the famous 'Get Carter' car park eyesore.
The Sage is a briliant feat of engineering and an asset to the area. And to Miss Croft... I do think that the Centre of Gateshead is a disgrace and should have been improved before the Sage and Baltic were completed. However I do take offence at the idea that "Good Old Gateshead" should be merged with Newcastle. What on earth for, so they can take credit for the hard work and ideas of Gateshead. There are plans to regenerate the Town Centre and then hopefully this dreadful title Newcastle/Gateshead can be dropped and we can become our own town again.
I have followed the Sage from, 1999, where the planners fondly called it 'the woodlouse'! I think it is a great building, providing many opportunities for all types of people. Unlike something like the angel of the north, which is completely useless and out of place, the Sage will provide opporunities for children and young people, provide a venue for all types of concerts, and enhance Newcastle/Gateshead's cultural image worldwide. It is not often an opportunity like the Sage comes to fruition, and three cheers that it did!
It can only be called the armadillo!! Everyone I know is calling it that already. Or else the giant slug.
me and other students from new college durham performed a rock concert there and the acoustics were amazing! I hate modern buildings but it is stylish and not a monstrocity such as the quayside on a friday night when it's full of violent drunks
Oh my gosh, i just came back from Singapore, where my husband works and when i crossed the Tyne Bridge, i saw that monstrosity and i was appaled
Janey B, North Shields
I often see the Sage when driving to work, i think the fact that it has got everybody taking shows what a success it is!
The Carbuncle! What a waste of money - except for the operatic few.
An iconic building it is NOT.Comapare this with what is happening in Liverpool- it has iconic buildings and a whole load more being built.Why don't we stop getting excited over one building and except that we are a town with nice people, but a major city we will never be
I visited the Sage today, whilst on holiday from Market Harborough, I think it is one of the most beautiful and modern designed buildings that I have ever seen.
I think the accoustics are wonderful, however - the sign posting to get to the car parks is very poor once one turns off from the Tyne Bridge, - the provision of tables at the cafe during the busy times are again insufficien - the vegetarian Thai curry looked appalling - all the visible vegetables on my plate were big lumps of carrots and turnip!
i am a really big music fan and i wish that someday i could have a chance in the music industry and i was wondering if the sage is a performing arts SCHOOL for people between 12-20 because i know two other people that are my friends and we like music, dance and drama. we like musical films such as Joseph and the amazing technicolor dreamcoat, the phantom of the opera and chicargo.
i'd like to find out if i can do breakdance or either rap in gateshead sage.
Slug is the only description that comes to mind. I agree with Gary - send it to London - they seem to like all things 'arty & ugly'
It is a beautiful building inside and out. A wonderful feature on the river Tyne. Have been to two concerts there - can't beleive some people are so negative.
Although I live in the N.E. I haven't visited the Sage yet. Shame on me...From film and 'photos I think it is a truly unique and beautiful building. Teething problems with it will over time be rectified i'm sure. I can't help feeling that as a region we are blessed that people are prepared to invest in us. The blinking eye, the baltic and the S... Gateshead (for goodness sake change the S... bit - it smacks of corporate bottom licking)are a credit to the N.E. We are all trying to extract monies out of business and our government, so maybe take what has been offered and stamp the totally unique and fabulous personality of North Easterners on it! It's ours...
Aidan & Barbara Flint
I am from Newcastle, my wife is Italian and she thinks the Sage looks like a 'bruco' (Italian for grub). Therefore, we think a good name for the Sage is the affably ambiguous allusion to all things Geordie 'Grubby'!!
Truly an eyesore completely out of keeping with its surroundings. I also call it The Slug - horrible.
We call it "The Slug" and love it to bits. It's a beautifull building and is credit to the arts in the North East - the best place on earth.
Sage - Looks like indigestion. A true attrocity. The glass/mirror effect gives the impression that it's only half done. Nearly drove off the Tyne bridge the first time I saw it! Just what's needed so close to "The Angel of Death". There's no doubt it's a technological marvel, but why does it have to look like that?
I was dubious at first but having seen it from the inside and been to two gigs there I think it's absolutely fantastic and a credit to the city
I think it is a beautiful place and it has a good atmosphere to the place the staff are friendly and nice they also make you feel welcome. its nice to be able to go out on a night time and know you are going to be safe and have plenty of fun.
I see it every day from the Metro, and the ugly slug-like exterior belies it's modern and welcoming interior. Different doesn't neccessarily mean good though. Keep this sort of arty rubbish for London where the pretentious people will squawk about it no end.
Can I just add to what 'Proud local' said. Newcastle is the '8th best place' in the 'WORLD' to have a night out. Yes, the world! The Sage is a fantastic addition to Newcastle/Gateshead. Gatesheads town centre will soon be getting a modern and fresh make over, all built from scratch.
I attended the concert last night - 18.02.04 - Howard Shelley with Northern Sinfonia gave a wonderful concert as Conductor and soloist. The audience appreciated the virtuosity of both Shelley and orchestra.
Watch it Shane H. If you know so much about Newcastle, you would know that we don't even have a casino. 'Lap dancing clubs'...well there's one, and as a gay man who has been and enjoyed an amazing night there, I must say it is not in any way sleezy or rough, nor does it or should it add to your negative view. Go there. Newcastle offers a good night out with a massive range of bars, yes, its a world-class city. 'booze culture' isnt all it has. You may, however, like to notice, that a certain ferry, a beach club and cowboy bar, all offering the most dangerous drink-all-you-can offers, hen-party driven booze fests are located in Gateshead. Just remember, Newcastle contributes its fair share. It has problems because it, unlike Gateshead, is a major city. It is nowhere near as bad as other cities, however. You talk as if you've never visited Gateshead town centre...that's a whole other discussion itself. I'll leave it at that.
I think it looks great - and like a friendly hippo just emerged from the water, relaxing in the sunshine.
Glasgow have already adopted "Armadillo" for another Foster creation - and I think that's more like an armadillo than the Sage. I think both buildings are fantastic. For the Sage, I would suggest "The Great Shed of Gateshead" or "The Buxom Bandstand"
'The wannabe Gherkin' Because it looks a bit like the office block in London nicknamed the gherkin, but pushed over o is side.
Beautiful, shiny and curvy. Looking forward to seeing a performance in it.
Does it matter what you call it really? Isnt the purpose its service to the community and more to the North East....
I think it looks nice and it should be called "Bubble" because it looks like someones just begun to blow a giant bubble. Plus, bubble sounds just like 'Hubble' and like the Hubble telescope, this also looks space age.
why do people get so righteous about funding regeneration in the likes of newbiggin hall and cramlington in place of funding for this new venue.They are completely misunderstanding how funding for such developments exists!A regional world class theatre/concert hall is completely separate from inner city regeneration - the two should not be compromised by one another.Were these same people so vocal about the likes of the metro centre or the telewest arena when they were built -both of which have no architectural value to stand the test of time and actively encourage the demise of the 'city centre'. Just enjoy the fact that for once something like this has been built outside of London
I've always called it the Armadillo ever since it's outline began to take shape.
How about the bubble
Given it looks like a bulging pair of stockings, the Saggy Bum seems appropriate.
the sage is an absolute joke im afraid.. admit it looks awful.. compare it with selfridges in birmingham.. now thats what i call a building.. that sage is well.. a slug.
Why are poeple saying it needs to be in cramlington or somewhere that needs to be regerated (it's already in Gateshead)? For a start you want people to go there and preferably not covered in grafiti- why do people always bleat on about 'needing help'- this thing will pump millions into the local economy- wake up!!
It's clear reading these comments that most of you who are being negative have blatantly not actually set foot inside the building - so you really shouldn't bother commenting. I've been loads and what can I say - fantastic!! Yes the cafe has been a bit slow but the restaurant is extremely reasonably priced and great food. I've been to a range of concerts - all outstanding and even the first club night which was pretty cool too. "Too eclectic" says 'Lara-to ashamed to leave my real name-Croft' - oh please. Eclectic? Bring it on I say! I think it's such a good idea to encourage people to try out and learn about music too with the education centre and even a public library service - which I may add has Sibelius free to use on their machines - I've not seen this anywhere else. Brill, brill, brill.
The Sage is not only a fantastic work of architecture but a testament to the future of an area which is on the up! Gateshead has often lived in the shadows of Newcastle but the new developments including the Baltic and the Gateshead Millenium Bridge have helped to put the town back on the map. Let's not forget, that the idea of bringing artistic culture to the region in the form of a giant metal angel was ridiculed but has gone on to be a catalyst for the reinvention of a wonderful area. Gateshead and Newcastle are really something to be proud of!
Whatever you think of the architecture, the great thing about the Slug is that provides a central location where everyone can not only listen to a huge range of music but actually get involved. It makes giving stuff like song-writing, DJing, drumming a go really easy cos you know where to find day-courses etc. I know it won't solve unemployment and housing problems but that doesn't mean it can't serve the whole community, it's a big step forward for music on Tyneside.
It looks more like a slug than anything else!!! People shouldn't get so wound up about nicknames - the Millenium Bridge is the Blinking Eye, so why can't the Sage be the Slug??? To us Mackems, the Tyne Bridge is the jump pad - everytime we beat you 2 - 1. Only a few months to wait now...
well for one thing, slugs are squishy. so it isnt a slug or i wouldnt go near it. tis lush! and why put a damper on it, as after all, you dont have to go to a music theater to eat food. sorry, but thats it.
I left the North East 12 months ago to live in suffolk. I haven't seen the sage finished, but I think it is a fabulous addition to the riverside, adding another facet to a superb North East Jewel.
I am still waiting for something that will make me want to go there, so far for me its another white elephant like the baltic which i have been to only once, again holds nothing for the ordinary man in the street, i give them both ten years max
i don't see why people are complaining about the cafe. the building was designed as a music venue, not a cafe, resterant or bar. why are these services so important? if people are so angry about the food and drink situation, why not simply eat and drink somewhere else, or take along your own food and drink? i personally think the building and concert halls are super.
fay mudd from gateshead
if these people leaving comments are adults i wish to say that they are EXTREMLY childish. i am 12 and have visited the sage its architcture is magnificent and who cares about the cafe service! the halls are magnificent with a great view from wherever who are seated. SO STOP COMPLAING! Ithink its good calling it The Sage Gateshead as its telling you that it belongs to US !!!!
I don't like the shape of the Sage, I think it's ugly. It is a good addition to Gateshead though, and the staff are fantastic
I've went to the open day events and two concerts last weekend and have booked for a third. The accoustics in both halls are second to none - certainly the best in this country (and yes I do have experience of many of the concert halls in this country). There are still some functional teething troubles - the service at the cafe is slow and this will need addressing. The building itself is a complete triumph. My nick-name for it is "The Sound Wave". Before anyone should criticise it they should experience it in all it's forms and functions.
As a long standing supporter of Northern Sinfonia, I can at last hear classical music in a first class auditorium. the access is good for everyone and the range of music offered is second to none. A wonderful investment for the north east. David
I work at the Sage Gateshead and absolutely love it! The shape, the size, the fact that you meet some amazing people and the way that the Music Education Centre underneath the concourse offers so many opportunities and activities for anyone of any age who wishes to learn an instrument and is already thriving with musical talent!!
it is nice but why not regenerate somewhere like beacon hill at cramlington that could do with a facelift
I live in gateshead and have just been to look around the Sage, on first impressions I am impressed with it. Will everyone get it right it is in Gateshead and not in Newcastle or that invented place Newcastle and Gateshead that was only put together to further another end. Anyway as I say on first impresion its O/K but will the shows be for everyones taste. On the design I think it blends in with the area and is better than some buildings put up around the north east and the rest of the country. In answer to Jay of Birmingham I went there once it was shut.
The Platinum Peanut. Lovely building - hurray for classical music.
I hate the name "The Sage". The generosity of Sage Software is tinged with an eye to the main chance - free advertising into perpetuity. It would have been more generous if a name had been found that reflected the buildings purpose rather than the apparent wisdom of its sponsors. Inside the building (I've sung a top C in the main hall!) it is a fabulous acoustic that should be fully exploited, more radio and TV concerts. As a music lover I looked forward to the opening of the Sage and the variety of opportunities that would be presented but so far I have been disappointed. Apart from Northern Sinfonia under the fabulous Thomas Zehetmair ("playing out of their skins" - Richard Morrison, BBC Music Magazine), much of the rest of the programme of events seems to lack cohesion and is too eclectic, while the public participation activities are oddly timed and will only accommodate a limited number, probably the same few who are already participating in current activities. One final comment, I am constantly amazed at how poor old Gateshead can deliver such fantastic schemes (Sage, Angel of the North, Baltic, even the Metro Centre) but as a town it is still the pits. Have you ever tried to shop in the centre of Gateshead? It would make much more sense for Gateshead and Newcastle to merge, so that Gateshead can benefit from Newcastle's broad based social and commercial sense and Newcastle can learn to be more imaginative and bold in its approach to the arts. PS I love the nickname “The slug on the Tyne”, it absolutely hits the spot.
I agree with rob e.Why dont they spend some money on the towns that really need it,Wideopen could do with a facelift for example
Alex from Southampton/Portsmouth
I visited the "Sage Gateshead" as part of our usual trips up north. We saw a performance that didn't appeal very much to myself. However, it looks a good building. The downsides though: Extremely bad organization and slow service in the restaurant downstairs and why does it have to be called 'The Sage Gateshead'? Can't it just be called 'The Sage' or 'The Sage Centre'. The cost of the whole thing also seems ridiculous. ON THE OTHER HAND, I WAS BORN DOWN HERE, FAMILY IN NORTHUMBERLAND. Loving Newcastle United all the time and let me tell you all: WITH OR WITHOUT THE SAGE, NEWCASTLE IS A BETTER CITY THAN SOUTHAMPTON AND PORTSMOUTH (+ the football)!
I've sang in the Sage Gateshead on 3 different occasions now and in a number of different places and the accoustics are amazing everywhere you go. From a musicians point of view i don't think the novelty will ever wear off as it is fabulous. From the outside it has always looked stunning and I have been desperate to get in a try the accoustics out since I first heard and saw about the project. Personally I think before we nickname the Sage Gateshead we should all make a huge point about it being GATESHEAD's!
It looks like a big grey shiney slug..
mr g williams
message to jay the short sighted brummie? the sage music centre is fantastic! if you think it's dull,do us geordies a favour and stay in birmingham.ps;see a good optician as well?
i agree steve G how will it help people in newbiggin hal and even beacon lane these places need regenerating also
The MICHAEL STRAKER CAFE . Very slow and poor service on 28/12/2004 at midday. Also over price for substandard quaity food
Most concert ticket prices start at £6 - how reasonable is that?!
I thought it was very "millenium Dome"..nice building shame about the contents. The music delivered so far during the opening days was weak and very narrow in its offering. No real content from popular music or any of the other types of music on offer today. The food is rubbish and far tooo expensive. The staff are almost all minimum wage temps. nice views out through the windows. Hall 2 is by far my favourite, a small intimate stage.
i think it will be a big hit if the the public who have little money are aloud to visit the concerts at a reasonable price
I think that the Sage is something really quite special. Hopefully it will bring musical variety to Gateshead and encourage people to be actively involved. As for the building itself, I love it but regardless of whether you love or hate it, it certainly makes an impression. About time the banks of the Tyne reflected some of the newer characteristics of Tyneside alongside taking prode in our old industry.
Saw the building last year when visiting Newcastle - its a wonderful innovative building, in fact the whole of the quayside looks brilliant. Geordies should be proud of such wonderful buildings.
One word "Superb"
Great building and concert hall though the organisation behind it is diabolical and the Music Education service there leaves a lot to be desired or so i've heard.
I didn't realise it was in gateshead! It will probably be a good addition. Call it something that doesn't link it to gateshead though! Like the Tyne Time Tube or something. Might attract a visitor then..... Maybe.
Tynesides answer to enhancing the culture of its area has the same lack of foresight as every major city that has attempted similar developments. We have some of the best engineers and architects in the world on these shores. How many of these new age steel and glass buildings designed to epitomize the area in which it occupies will stand the test of time and still be marvelled at with beauty in 15 years time? Let alone 50 years. None, they will be looked upon with the same indignation as the architecture of the 60's and 70's which saw the start of the so called space age era of buildings which clutter our sky line and are now soley occupied by council offices, places of education or used for cheap affordable housing.
It's really great to see such progress in as short a time, the Newcastle/Gateshead quayside looks as '21st century' as anywhere I've been. As for a Sage likeness I'd go with the shell one. Let's hope the properity spreads outwards into areas in dire need of development.
Friends in London are already referring to it as the Slug on the Tyne!
After watching the Sage develop over the years, it was absolutely mind blowing to go inside for the first time. Truly, another magnificent icon for the North East - but not only that, a venue that will welcome all. Let's hope that everyone gets behind it and spreads the word!
This building although very spectacular in its own right. It does not fit in with the old arcitecture and historic sites of the city. Not sure any name will make a difference its an eye sore no matter what you call it.
It kinda reverses Prince Charles architectural comment- it being a (soon to be ) loved building on a carbuncle of a town.
Those people who are running down such a fantastic building should be ashamed to call themselves GEORDIES.It's another landmark for the northeast along with the millenium bridge,the angel and the tyne bridge.Besides when was Gateshead a historic city?
Great! A real step forward for Newcastle/Gateshead. We have concert halls already, but nothing as good as this. It's not just about the building either, the quality of world class musicians they should be able to attract coupled with the varied types of participatory events and schools workshops really will do something exciting for music in the North East. The building itself is another triumph for Lord Fosters company, who have created many of the most unique landmark buildings all over the world. It's one that we can be proud of. Great.
OK, I'll start by saying I'm biased, I'm from the North East and I love the area but I can also truthfully state that the area has improved a huge amount. The area around the Quayside is tremendous and I'm glad that the Gateshead side is beginning to catch up. I believe the Sage is fantastic; it is a striking building both atheistically and acoustically. For those of you who haven't been - go. I just wish that when TV reporters choose to interview members of the public that they do not go to Gateshead high street to catch the day time drinkers who wouldn't appreciate the place. The revenue that will be raised by Gateshead will undoubtedly be spent on the regeneration of a town centre desperately in need of it.
I visited the Sage today with my family.... I felt overwhelmed by how tremendous it is for Tyneside. There were people there of all ages and from all walks of life and there was something in it for everyone. Our 8 year old loved it despite the fact that usually nothing but computer games impress him! The music on offer was so varied and enjoyable. As for the building it is amazing. The views outside up and down the Quayside are fantastic and the inside matched them. Please go along and see what's on offer before you critise.
"The Grub" It sounds better than Maggot and it is probably easier to make an acronym out of it.
My first reaction after cruising through the website was "ET"
Terrible. Another modern-day building slap bang in the centre of an historic city. What an eyesore.
I agree with Nick - The Chrysalis is an excellent name. We should be proud of the quayside and especially this latest addition.
It reminds me of Tarkus from an album by Emerson Lake and Palmer in the 70's. Makes me sound old I suppose but its Tarkus to me anyway on the outside
Actually, the Chrysalis is a good one! And having visited Birmingham, a city many times the size of Newcastle, I think we hold our own very well again almost any city in the country... As for being a waste of money, it is anchor developments like this that attract further development and can often underpin the whole regeneration process. So with luck, places like Gateshead High Street will improve off the back of the Sage.
It looks like a giant slug
While the outer curves of the new concert hall are quite beautiful and are a pleasant compliment to those of the King George V (Tyne) Bridge and the Gateshead Millennium Bridge, I feel the overal effect is spoiled by the 'blocked out' window panes. It would be much better if the entire structure was covered in glass.
The Sage is great! Something that everyone in the North East can be proud of! Watch how the regeneration of the quayside can benefit Gateshead - people should be more optimistic about the Gateshead Quays!!