Best Interior Spaces of Newcastle and Gateshead
Newcastle and Gateshead are bursting with vibrant interior spaces, from art galleries to train stations to indoor markets. And what better time to celebrate all things indoors than in the middle of a scorching summer heatwave.
This week, we’re going to list our 6 favourite interior spaces in the Newcastle/Gateshead area. We hope you like them too, and let us know if we’ve missed any of your favourites off the list!
6 – Sage
First opened in December 2004, this striking concert venue is arguably the most eye-catching monument on Gateshead’s Quayside.
It’s interior is a modern, airy, and elegant affair. It features lots of curves, and the flowing design of its river-facing windows gives a wave-like, watery impression. Another appeal of the Sage’s interior is its brightness, modernity, and openness, which not only perfectly reflects the building’s exterior, but also its personality and the nature of many of the events it plays host to.
5 – Central Station
The outside of this building featured in our Top 5 Architectural Wonders Of Newcastle Upon Tyne post. Now we’re revisiting it on the inside, and here’s why it’s made our top 5.
Designed by the genius and local legend John Dobson, Central station is a wonderful example of how light can transform a space in a positive way. And it presents a brilliant contrast to the building’s exterior. From the outside, Central Station presents a strong, imposing facade. But walk through the main entrance and you’ll immediately see that, internally, it’s a different story. It’s almost like walking into a cathedral. There’s a distinct yet subtle gothic vibe lying under the surface, and though much of the structure consists of wrought-iron, it’s incredibly refined. Here you’ll see the curves, domes, and fluted rafters that would normally be reserved for religious buildings. It’s a fantastic feat of engineering, not only for its sheer expanse, but for the enduring elegance of its sweeping curvature.
4 – Grainger Market
A gem of Victorian engineering slap-bang in the centre of Newcastle. What really stands out from an inside-view of Grainger Market is its glass-ceilinged section. It’s so light and bright, and totally unexpected when you look at the market from the outside. It could so easily have been a dark, dismal, rabbit-warren of a building, but the inclusion of a glass ceiling lent the interior the opposite effect.
It’s very simplistic yet striking, and offers a novel, unique aesthetic experience for market-goers. The one thing that, in our opinion, lets the market down ever-so-slightly is its lack of any visual theme amongst the stall owners. There’s no structure in terms of signage, or how the businesses present themselves (like in the Central Arcade, for example), and this maybe let’s down the overall experience. But, of course, the stalls themselves are brilliant, and wandering the many lanes of the Grainger Market is a fantastic and essential Toon experience!
3 – Civic Centre (Council Chamber)
This was another building to feature on our previous architectural top 5 list. The Civic Centre is an all-round interesting piece of architecture. In terms of its multi-faceted interior, however, one section that stands out for us is the Council Chamber. It’s a top-notch example of 1960s design, featuring clean lines, curves, warm textures, a lots of wood. And this woodiness really is its standout feature. It’s natural-looking, varnished, and elegant in a straight and simplistic manner.
2 – Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art
Originally a flour mill which closed in 1981 and reopened its doors in 2002 in the form we know it today, the Baltic is the place to be for top-class contemporary art. Its minimalist interior is perfectly suited to its function, presenting visitors with bare and spacious rooms and corridors.
One standout feature of the Baltic is its glass elevators, which run along the outside of the building and offer views of the Tyne and Millennium bridges. This a great design feature, and embraces the surrounding area, incorporating the sights of both sides of the river Tyne into the visitor experience. It’s also a great example of how you don’t need lots of detailed decorative flair in order to make something attractive. The Baltic’s stark, industrial minimalism is what makes it so appealing.
1 – Central Arcade
In our opinion, the best interior of them all. Built by Richard Grainger in 1836-38, Central Arcade is a masterful example of elegance and style. Its shiny tiles are a standout feature, arresting the attention immediately and lending a real sense of class and splendour to the overall aesthetic. The glass-covered atrium allows a tremendous amount of light in, bringing the place to life and highlighting the colours of mosaic flooring, the colour of which is somewhat evocative of a Roman baths.
Another brilliant feature of the arcade is how the businesses contained within have aligned themselves with its look and feel. Big, clean, shiny glass facades, and nicely presented window displays.