The curvaceous Sage Gateshead by Foster + Partners took ten years of planning by the Gateshead Council, in addition to extensive consultation with both musicians and their audiences. The Sage Gateshead is a complex of three auditoriums sheltered from the windy environment by a broad roof that is shrink-wrapped around the buildings beneath. The largest auditorium seats up to 1,650 people and is acoustically state-of-the-art. The second has flexible seating for up to 400 and is designed for jazz, folk and chamber music. The third is a large rehearsal hall for the Northern Sinfonia while also serving as the focus of the Music School. The complex also includes bars, cafes, shops, an information center, and a box office. In addition, back-of-house hospitality areas have been kept to a minimum to encourage performers to interact with students during the day and audiences in the evenings.