Norman Foster’s dreams of designing London’s new routemaster bus have taken a giant leap towards becoming a reality.
This morning (19 December) Mayor Boris Johnson chose a team including Foster + Partners with Aston Martin as the joint winners in the Transport for London (TFL)-organised competition to find a new ‘British icon for the 21st century’.
However the team still faces opposition from fellow victors and specialist vehicle design outfit Capoco Design to land the prize commission (see images of both designs below).
Both schemes will now be passed on to bus manufacturers to be developed into final design proposals before TFL launches a competitive tendering process to determine which will actually be built.
It is hoped the first prototype of the new bus will be on the streets of London by 2011.
Foster’s zero carbon bus will feature wooden floors, glazed roof incorporating solar cells and a rear open access ‘so popular [on the old Routemasters] up until its withdrawal from general service.’
A ‘delighted’ Foster said: ‘This project has really captured my imagination. London’s buses are so much a part of the essence of this city – functionally, symbolically and geographically.
‘They help us draw a mental map – their destinations are London’s historic places, often green: Shepherds Bush, Islington Green, Hampstead Heath, Green Park.'
He added: ‘Our design seeks to combine contemporary innovation with timelessness. Like the original Routemaster – which was ahead of its time and consequently endured – a new bus for London should establish a whole new travel experience that espouses 21st century aspirations, while celebrating the memory and the experience of the original.’
The pictures are presented as a Flickr slideshow. You can click on an image to see the next in the series or select pictures directly using the thumbnail images below.