Welcome Back bus by Héctor Serrano Studio, Miñarro García and Javier Esteban



Here are some more images of the Welcome Back bus designed by Héctor Serrano Studio, Miñarro García and Javier Esteban, which won second prize in the New Bus For London competition last week. See our previous story for details of the other winners.


Lighting in the entrance platform at the back of the vehicle alerts boarding or alighting passengers when the bus is about to move.


The bus is compact to allow it to navigate narrow streets and to reduce emissions, and has cantilevered seating to make cleaning the floors easy.


Here's some more information from the designers:


Miñarro García, Héctor Serrano Studio and Javier Esteban 2nd Prize in the New Bus for London competition, being 1st Aston Martin and Foster + Partners.

The Prize was announced by Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, on Friday 19 of December. The competition, organized by Transport for London, attracted 700 entries from around the world, of which 225 were in the Design Category. The team participated in this category, developing exterior and interior of the whole bus.


About the project

Name of project: Welcome Back
Design by Miñarro García, Héctor Serrano Studio y Javier Esteban

Welcome back represents the evolution of the iconic Routemaster. An innovative vehicle combining the best of the past with the best of now. A unique bus tailored to London. A brand new London classic that retains the much appreciated friendly and warm feeling from the Routemaster. A compact bus for a compact city, the vehicle has a small wheelbase which means it can move easily around London's narrow streets.


One of the most characteristic features is the diagonal window that celebrates London's double decker buses by visually externalizing the stairs. To improve safety we have incorporated a lighting system into the floor of the rear entrance platform that informs passengers and vehicles when the bus is about to move. This is a truly sustainable vehicle using a Hybrid Diesel-electric Drive System. Its smaller size also means less weight so less fuel compsumption is required and less exhaust emissions are produced.


About the designers

Miñarro García, Héctor Serrano Studio and Javier Esteban are three design studios from different fields as vehicle design, product, and visual communication. Together they form a multidisciplinary team with broad experience in projects as diverse as the design of several production buses and cars, furniture, electronic appliances, accessories for home and advertising campaigns. They have worked for companies such as Pininfarina, Renault, Ford, Moooi and Roca among others. They have been awarded prestigious awards such as the Peugeot Design Awards and their projects have been exhibited extensively in Museums such as V&A in London and Cooper-Hewit National Design Museum in New York. They set up their offices in London, Barcelona and Valencia after graduating at the Royal College of Art in London.

Judges’ comments:

"A visual reincarnation of the Routemaster but with a very 21st century treatment."

The judges said: “The compact design from the Héctor Serrano Studio, Miñarro García and Javier Esteban is a visual reincarnation of the Routemaster but with a very 21st century treatment. A hybrid diesel-electric drive-train and regenerative braking system were proposed to keep weight and emissions to a minimum, coupled with a solar-panel roof for top-up energy. We were particularly impressed with the wide doors, stairs and aisles as well as a stop-go lighting system for the rear platform to enhance passenger safety. Other features included indirect roof lighting and cantilever seating for ease of floor cleaning.”

Project Team:
Enrique Miñarro (Miñarro García)
Joaquin García (Miñarro García)
Héctor Serrano (Héctor Serrano Studio)
Rafael Vinader (Héctor Serrano Studio)
Javier Esteban (Javier Esteban)

Special thanks to:
Kepa Casado and Javier León.

Posted on Monday December 22nd 2008 at 6:46 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • navid

    better than foster’s

  • W

    Bit too retro but I like it

  • its like a law i guess, the one who comes in second is the true winning material.

  • Rich

    The interior of the bus has a major change but the outside doesn’t seem like they’ve done much work other than making the original one curvier.

  • miss plastic

    not bad…. but wider seats please for the fat londoners who push me every morning from my seat!!!

  • waka

    looks good photoshopped with the city in background. the interior however doesnt look interesting to me in any aspect

  • supplicem

    Yes Navid, I agree… Better than Foster’s, but fame strike… what a pity

  • Well done, but this one is a bit too much retro. I think the Foster/Aston Martin version is quite smart; very straight with edges rounded like the London Transport font Gill sans… fits well with the company style.
    And, I LIKE being driven around in an Aston Martin when coming to London, even better then the Mercedes Benz, like now…!

  • SoK

    It looks like a cross between a beetle and a cigarette lighter – not at all elegant. I’d rather a bendy bus than this one – the seats aren’t exactly welcoming my behind.

    I agree with Arjan – drive me around in an Aston Martin!

  • w

    I like it but the windscreen seems a bit pointless

  • Azm

    This was the only one I liked ,,Good to see its winning!!

  • M-Boogie

    Way to bulky, obese, blobby… like many other car concepts these days… :-(

    – To many rounded corners where some precise cuts would have done the job. Especially on the inside. Why do you need a rounded finish between wall and floor? You loose space because people cannot stand close to the wall or at least put their bags there.

    – Not materialized at all. The only trial with wood on the floor looks plastic as well. No seams between the materials which could be used for richening the plain surfaces.

    – Lack of detail: lock at every old car or building. The details do the job. This one is just a massive block with no shadow lines, chrome stripes, side lights etc… It doesn’t have to be overloaded whith those elements but this thing is just naked.

    – Way to bright on the inside. Do you want to use it as a mobile operating room? Tourists use this bus as well, they want to see the city not the reflection of the guy sitting next to them. It doesn’t feel comfortable at all. Everything looks like it can be washed with a high pressure cleaner.

  • NENL

    It’s the best one of the contest. And better than Foster, of course

  • beheld

    The way the windows are made (especially on the top) looks too much retro. Like some US design of a toaster or a cigarette lighter from the “Streamline era” Way to much roundness and shape cutting, so it looks like a boxers face. I guess its about taste, you either love it or hate it.

    The Aston Martin + Foster has some good ideas, but the renderings lack detail.

  • have you guys seen this design, i found it on yahoo news/cars

    seems very original, unlike the rest, guess thats why it didnt win lol.

  • forgot to add the website link in main text. http://www.onroutebus.co.uk

  • The future retro looks just about right to me. I love it! The diagonal window beside the stairs, and the solar-panel roof are beautiful &smart details indeed. Just two things I don’t like: 1) seating doesn’t look comfortable enough, 2) wheel covers are a bit too much.

  • The retro styling is quite commendable.
    This is the winner!

  • Gracias al diseño es posible aportar nuevas soluciones a nuestro mundo.