Coming from the huge iron construction of the Tyne Bridge, an area opened before my eyes which looked like a playground for modern architects. An important gem in this playground is the Sage Gateshead musical theatre opened in 2004. Lying on the banks of the river Tyne like a slug, its curves give it a unique, joyful appearance, and its glass construction an open character. A curved glass blue divider runs towards the building when walking towards it, and continues throughout the building to come out on the other side. Also inside the Sage Gateshead, the feeling of space overwhelms, the outside round glass and steel walls are like a giant shell for the actual musical theatres inside.
The openness of the building of course also allows those inside too look outside, and the views are awesome. Framed by the construction of stainless steel and enormous windows, you have a perfect view over Newcastle, the river Tyne, and the bridges for which Newcastle is famous. The open philosophy of the building is not only restricted to its architecture: any visitor is free to explore and discover the building. Walking up gives you an even more impressive view over the surrouding area. It is also possible to enter the musical theatres, and we happened to be so lucky as to see (and hear!) a rehearsal of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - and enjoy the great acoustics of the hall. There is a smaller theatre as well, looking completely different, where the artists are surrounded on all sides by the audience. The Sage Gateshead sees performances of all kinds of musical artists.
When darkness falls over Newcastle and Gateshead, the theatre comes to life. The light reflected by the building giving it a glowing appearance, lights are switched on inside. They add to the curved impression of the building, and occasionally, you see people passing through the light. Layered light of the floors as well as spotlights in the ceilings give the building an entirely different look. Walking right under it, it rises like an oddly shaped giant above you. While the last daylight disappears, you note coloured light coming out of the Sage Gateshead, as you see people gathering for a musical performance. While the musical spectacle inside must be of great quality, the sight of the buildling seen from outside is not less spectacular.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Sage Gateshead (United Kingdom). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Sage Gateshead.
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