The Sage in Gateshead | 23 May, 2017


The Sage Gateshead_architectural photographer_Neil Perry

The Sage in Gateshead, and best viewed from Newcastle’s Quayside area, is a building I’ve admired for some time. I’ve visited Newcastle quite a bit over the last couple of years and I’ve grown to love the city, and The Sage, enormously.

The architecture in Newcastle, and neighbouring Gateshead, is as vibrant and diverse as the population. You’ll find evidence of the first and second industrial revolutions, sweeping Georgian mid-rise streets, brutalist blocks, post-modern quirkiness and contemporary glass structures. The city’s architectural fabric is the best evidence of its age and history.

For my most recent trip I was hoping to get some shots of The Sage against a dark and moody sky – all in the hope that I’d get something I can add to a project I’m working on. The Sage is probably the best example of the contemporary glass structures. Although it’s based in Gateshead, it’s actually only on the south bank of the Tyne river, which means you can see it from nearly all angles from the north bank (Newcastle).

Designed by Foster + Partners, and completed in 2004, The Sage is a concert venue which contains three performance spaces of varying size and capacity. Its curved form is both dramatic and functional, ‘shrink-wrapping’ the concourse that connects the separate performance spaces, and sheltering it from the prevailing winds that affect the area. Its ‘pixelated’ skin ensures that the building catches the light at all times and glistens, even during the gloomiest of days.

The day I arrived in Newcastle it was quite bright so although I got some great shots, I didn’t get what I wanted. The second day, however, was much gloomier and I was able to get exactly what I wanted – moody images with The Sage looking metallic and machine-like. The shots below are some of those that I’m really pleased with. The pick of the bunch, however, have been added to my shortlist for a fine art project, so I’ll hopefully be able to share those soon. I’ve also included a lovely shot of the Gateshead Millenium Bridge, which I shot from the end of the Tyne Bridge.