BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art is one of the most iconic landmarks in the North East of England. Situated in a former flour mill on the banks of the River Tyne, BALTIC hosts an ever changing calendar of exhibitions by international artists.
The BALTIC site, on the South bank of the river Tyne was occupied from 1858 until 1889/90 by The Gateshead Iron Works (Hawks, Crawshay, & Sons, Iron and Steel Manufacturing and Engineers, Boiler Makers and Bridge Builder), famous for their work on the High Level Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne.
The site lay derelict until foundation work for the Baltic Flour Mills began in the late 1930s. The Baltic Flour Mills was built for Joseph Rank Limited beside the River Tyne in Gateshead in 1950. It was dual purpose factory for the production of flour and animal feed.
The silo building is the only remaining part of the Baltic factory. The foundations of the building went up before The Second World War but the project was shelved until 1948.
Hundreds of people were employed there until it closed in November 1982. Many were local, though some came to Gateshead specially to work at the Baltic.
Three men died during the construction of the Baltic when a freak gust of wind blew down steel shuttering.
The notion of BALTIC began in 1991 when Northern Arts (now Arts Council England North East) announced its ambition to achieve ‘major new capital facilities for the Contemporary Visual Arts in Central Tyneside’.
Under the auspicious guidance of BALTIC’s inaugural Director Sune Nordgren construction began in 1998: only the south and north facades of the original 1950s building were retained.
Dominic Williams of Ellis Williams Architects, London oversaw the redevelopment of BALTIC from a flour mill into the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art.
A new structure consisting of six main floors and three mezzanines was secured between the facades which contained 3000sqm of arts space (four galleries and a flexible performance space), artists' studios, cinema/lecture space, shop, a library and archive for the study of contemporary art and the Rooftop Restaurant on Level 6. An additional two-storey structure: The Riverside Building, was constructed to the west of the main building, providing the main entrance into BALTIC, which looks out across Baltic Square and the Gateshead Millennium Bridge.
BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art opened on Saturday 13 July 2002. The inaugural exhibition, B.OPEN, featured work by Chris Burden, Carsten Holler, Julian Opie, Jaume Plensa and Jane & Louise Wilson, and attracted over 35,000 visitors in the first week.
Since then BALTIC has presented over 190 exhibitions of work by 388 artists from 53 countries and welcomed more than 6 million visitors.
Weddings at Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art
BALTIC is fully licensed to host civil ceremonies in River Terrace, on Level 1 and in Six’s Viewing Box. With capacities ranging from 30 to 180, BALTIC is perfect for both intimate and grand ceremonies.
Level 1 is BALTIC’s largest event space, dedicating a whole floor of the gallery to you and your guests. The main space holds ceremonies for up to 180 guests and the additional three rooms, which include a 54-seat cinema and dressing room, can be incorporated into a unique wedding venue.
Six is BALTIC’s rooftop restaurant and is famous for its panoramic views of the Newcastle and Gateshead quayside - even the toilets have great views! Six can host wedding breakfasts of up to 120 guests and the Viewing Box is ideal for smaller ceremonies and canapé receptions.
River Terrace is located on BALTIC’s ground mezzanine floor. The full length picture windows fill the room with natural light and provide a stunning city backdrop for weddings.
Wedding Photography at Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art
BALTIC offers some great opportunities for wedding photography.
The building itself is a great mixture of over 100 years of history and modern minimalism. It is all red brick, white gallery walls, concrete and glass. The staircase is a great feature and many of the floors of the building have floor to ceiling glazing with views overlooking Newcastle and Gateshead Quayside.
The Millennium Bridge is a short walk from BALTIC's entrance and is very photogenic. From there you can move on towards the other bridges and are right in Newcastle City Centre.
As long as you don't mind being the centre of attention - the BALTIC and surrounding Quayside can get very busy during the day and night - you can get some epic photographs.
- Iconic location on the banks of the River Tyne, near the Sage and Newcastle's many bridges.
- Modern, urban and a great alternative wedding venue for art lovers.
- Can cater for a wide range of weddings from the very intimate to the large.
- No accomodation on site, so you and your guests will have to move to a second location overnight.
Address: BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art Gateshead Quays, South Shore Road, Gateshead, NE8 3BA
Phone: 0191 440 4949