Welcome to The Glasshouse
Music lives and grows here.
We’re the proud home of the region’s acclaimed orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia.
With The Glasshouse you can take part in music making whatever your age, ability or interests. From community choirs to drumming classes to advanced musical training – we make music with our audience.
Conferences, weddings, meetings, and private functions take place here.
Just visiting the region? Come on in and enjoy an architectural landmark and some of the best views available in the North East.
We’re a charity, and music is our mission. We’re international with deep northern roots.
We are for audiences, for artists, for the North, for the long term.
We are committed to world-class live music, supporting people to be creative, and to putting music at the heart of communities.
Each year we…
- Stage more than 400 performances across all types of music.
- Provide music learning for 200,000 people across 10,000 events.
- Support over 300 artists, with a focus on addressing socioeconomic inequality.
- Welcome artists to the North East from around the world.
What To Do Here
If this is your first time visiting us, here are a few ways you can enjoy our building:
- Take a break in our Café where you might even get to hear a performance. You can Pay What You Feel for a cup of tea or filter coffee.
- Explore the views – top spots for sightseeing include the Barbour Balcony for views of the Tyne Bridge or Level Two for the Millennium Bridge.
- Register for a class to enjoy making music in our Music Education Centre
- Enjoy live music at a concert, gig or festival
A guide to help you explore our building
The Glasshouse was opened on 17 December 2004 by the people of the North East. The building has become a regional icon, thanks to Foster + Partners’ architectural vision, and state-of-the-art acoustics designed by Arup.
The building design includes ‘acoustic gaps’ separating each of the three main halls. This enables audiences to enjoy music in whichever space they’re in without being distracted by live events in one of the other halls.
Take a moment to enjoy one of the best views in the North East of England from what we think of as our “Town Square”.
If you’re attending a conference in our building, this is where you’re likely to enjoy refreshments and spend time networking. On a typical day, the Concourse is where many meet friends for lunch or coffee, or enjoy a drink before a concert. The Squires Lounge to the West side of our café is where you can bring your laptop to get some work done while enjoying the view.
Window cleaners have to be lowered from the top of the roof on ropes to clean the huge windows on the front of our building.
Our main hall seats around 1,700 people, on three levels. Whether you’re attending a performance by the RNS or one of your favourite contemporary artists, you’ll experience acoustics that make this venue truly world-class.
Sometimes we remove the seats on Level One, for special events or concerts where we know some people will enjoy more space to move around.
This performance space is on three levels and holds up to 600 people. It’s suitable for both acoustic and amplified performances.
You might see performers on a stage or in the middle of this hall, and it’s believed to be the first ten-sided performing arts space in the world.
Northern Rock Foundation Hall
The Royal Northern Sinfonia use this as a rehearsal space. It’s also used for events including performances by our Artists in Residence.
It features a large window allowing the public to watch rehearsal and recording taking place and to allow musicians to play in an environment lit with natural light.
Take the stairs or lift from our Concourse to Level One to enter any of our three main halls.
Enjoy a drink at the bars on each level, or get yourself an ice cream during an intermission.
Music Education Centre
A 26-room powerhouse focusing on music learning and participation with spaces for teaching, practice, workshops and recording.
The Greggs Children’s Room
Babies and children up to seven years old use this room to sing and play.