Laing O'Rourke's £70m Tyneside concert hall is fitted with state-of-the-art panelling system
Laing O'Rourke's £70m Sage Music Centre in Gateshead has employed some of the most innovative acoustic technology ever seen – or heard – on a facility of its kind.

The performance of the hall can be fine-tuned using six mobile ceiling panels, which have been designed for the venue by Arup, Foster and Partners and drylining specialist M&M Plasline.

The ceiling's curved panels can be raised or lowered to change the acoustics to suit a particular style of music. They are constructed from Finnish birch plywood and incorporate a continuous lighting strip to illuminate the facing.

Each panel has a recessed section with a felt lining to further enhance acoustic performance.

The sections will be suspended in the ceiling cavity by steel ropes on a counterweighted system installed by Street Crane Express.

Project team

clients Gateshead council, Northern Arts, Folkworks, Northern Sinfonia, Arts Council of England
architect Foster and Partners
structural and services engineers Mott MacDonald
roof structure consultant Buro Happold
cost consultant Davis Langdon & Everest
acoustic consultant Arup
main contractor Laing O’Rourke
drylining contractor M&M Plasline
landscape architect Desvigne & Dalnoky
access consultant Burdus Access Management
planning supervisor WSP