If you take a walk along the Quayside in Newcastle you are unlikely to miss the striking building on the far side of the Tyne, in Gateshead. Situated in the shadow of the Tyne Bridge this is a concert venue with two main auditoria, a rehearsal space, a music education centre and a leisure destination with several bars and eating places. It is also a must-see, and must photograph, building!
It was designed by renowned architect Lord Foster (Norman Foster) and was his first for the performing arts. Its construction played a major role in the cultural revival of Gateshead and the Quayside in particular, along with the Baltic Gallery, driven by a council eager at the time (late 1990s/early 2000s) to compete with its larger neighbour across the water. It opened in 2004 and immediately became an unmistakeable sight on the river front, with its huge curved roof of stainless steel and glass. That roof, if laid flat, would be large enough to cover two football pitches. And the concrete used in its construction could, according to the Sage website:
fill 23 competition-size swimming pools, make almost 5 million foot-square paving slabs – enough concrete flags to build a path 800 miles long from St James’ Park, Newcastle, to the San Siro Stadium in Milan – and still have enough left to pave over the pitch six times!
I find the building very photogenic, especially in black and white. On one of our regular visits to Newcastle this New Year weekend I’m reminded that I have amassed quite a collection of photos over the years. Here are some of my favourites.
Most of these shots were taken in colour and converted in Silver Efex Pro, but a few were taken in black and white
I visit Newcastle and Gateshead regularly; these photos were taken between 2014 and 2020