The Sage provides three auditoria and accommodation for the Regional Music School and also acts as a base for the Northern Sinfonia and Folkworks, which promotes folk, jazz and blues performances. Each auditorium was conceived as a separate enclosure but the windswept nature of the site suggested a covered concourse along the waterfront to link them. As a result the entire complex is sheltered beneath a broad, enveloping roof that is ‘shrink-wrapped’ around the buildings beneath and extends over the concourse. Containing cafés, bars, shops, an information centre and the box office, the concourse is a major public space. It acts as a foyer for the auditoria and as a common room for the Music School, which is located beneath it. Back-of-house hospitality areas have been kept to a minimum to encourage performers to interact with students during the day and to mix with their audiences in the concourse bars in the evenings.

Facts + Figures

  • Appointment: 1997
  • Completion: 2004