A New Bus for London by Aston Martin and Foster + Partners



Car brand Aston Martin and architects Foster + Partners have sent us more images of their joint first-place design for the New Bus for London competition.


The design includes a glazed roof with solar cells to generate energy and control the internal temperature by filtering daylight.


The project was awarded joint first place with bus, coach and truck design company Capoco Design.


See our previous story for details of the other winning projects.


Images by Nigel Young, Foster + Partners.

Here's some more information from Foster + Partners:


Foster + Partners with Aston Martin win joint first prize in competition to design a new bus for London

The joint submission by Foster + Partners and Aston Martin has won first prize, alongside Capoco Design, in Transport for London’s competition to design a new bus for the capital. The two iconic British brands worked together to challenge preconceptions of bus design with a vehicle that is environmentally sensitive, accessible, convivial and reinvents a much-loved symbol of London for the modern era.


After an intense period of research which included canvassing opinion from passengers, drivers and conductors, the two parties worked in close collaboration to design a new bus from the inside-out. In doing so, consideration was given to a wide range of issues including layout, use of materials, motive power, passenger experience and the bus’ impact on the streetscape and the environment of the city. The bus is designed to navigate the dense and varied streets of London, employing innovative technologies to allow for greater manoeuvrability and energy conservation. Optimising safety, the driver's cabin provides panoramic views as well as incorporating screens to supervise CCTV images and radio communications with the on-board conductor.

Much like a car or a building, the design evolved in response to the needs of its users.  The layout, lighting and wooden floors are conceived to encourage a spirit of warmth and community.  The arrangement of the decks is driven by comfort and particular consideration is given to the selection of reconstituted leather upholstery to create a tactile ‘living room’ feel, especially in the saloon-like lower deck. The new bus is zero emissions ready, accessible for all and will set new standards for sustainable public service vehicles. Passengers benefit from views from the top of the deck through a glazed roof which incorporates solar cells to generate energy and filter daylight to control the temperature inside.

The bus design re-introduces the rear open access platform that made London's Routemaster bus so popular up until its withdrawal from general service. This is supplemented by a side door to facilitate access for the mobility impaired and families with young children.

Lord Foster said: “I am delighted that we have won joint first prize with the Aston Martin/Foster + Partners design. 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. 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.”

Director of Design for Aston Martin, Marek Reichman said: "This unique project has been a great experience for the Aston Martin team and has allowed us to showcase the considerable and diverse design competence of our team, while affording us the opportunity to apply elements of our design language to entirely different concept. We are delighted to have had the opportunity to work alongside Foster + Partners to reinvent a true British icon in the Routemaster bus and being selected to win joint first prize by the Mayor of London provides further evidence that great British creative talent remains at the cutting edge of design."

More Dezeen stories about the New Bus for London competition:



Winners announced


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

Posted on Wednesday December 24th 2008 at 2:31 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Ian

    Its hideous! Why not just bring back the classic routemaster? The one everyone loved and fought to get back, not some tacky recreation.

    • Jesse

      I think they're trying to make something that no other city has. Right now, lot's of cities have similar buse. You're right though, no one has the route master. I don't think this is that bad compared to this other one I saw.
      I hate how similar cities look nowadays.

  • Azm

    Excellent Research & Innovative Ideas But there isnt a single bus with new design.WHY?

  • Did anyone see that city hall in London just got an E energy efficiency rating?

    I’m inclined to think that the miracle promises of a building just six years old should be looked at to substantiate any future competition winning entries.

  • ber

    I still see a problem with the entrances. There is only one wide enough for wheelies and strollers. It even needs a ramp. Other manufacturers already use systems to lower the entire bus on pavement level.

    Besides that I don’t think new busses are a solution for the London traffic chaos. Tube and trains are way more efficient but in a terrible state.

  • This bus is beautiful. I would be thrilled to ride on it. With Foster + Partners and Aston Martin teamed up in the design, it’s not at all surprising that the new London bus is a masterful mix of form, function, and a little bit of folly. I love the way it retains the flavour and emotional appeal of the old classic London bus, without being retro. What a design gem. London deserves no less that the best for its iconic double decker busses. Bravissimo!

  • hanz

    the back actually kinda looks like a vehicle from star wars. lol haha but its nice

  • xtiaan

    wooden floors? on a london bus?
    anyone else shudder at the thought
    jesus why not put down carpet as well

  • Luxury Larry

    I would like to see this on the street. It would be so cool and might encourage more public trasport user.

  • NemanjaV*

    The best London bus project!

  • I love this bus.
    It looks great, its about time the london buses got updated.
    I just hope these actully get put into use soon and not in the year 2050 or somthing. we need these now.

  • ben

    the back looks more interesting, integrated and innovative then the front
    should switch it to the front

  • Rashid Ashikali

    hello every one, i have just passed my bus test today march 17th/2011 and i am looking forward driving one of these buses, i will be so happy doing it.
    i also hope that these buses are put in use soon and not next century.