Movie: Thomas Heatherwick on designing
a new bus for London


Movie: Thomas Heatherwick talks to Dezeen editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs about redesigning the iconic red double-decker bus for London in this interview filmed by Dezeen at the preview of Heatherwick Studio: Designing the Extraordinary at the V&A museum in London.

New Bus for London by  Heatherwick Studio

Above photo is by Iwan Baan

In the movie, Heatherwick describes why a second staircase and third door can help the busses stick to a timetable and reveals the best way to disguise traces of kebab smeared on a seat.

A New Bus for London by Heatherwick Studios

The first of the new buses went into service in February, causing a stir with the return of a hop-on-hop-off platform at the back and bands of glass swooping round two stairwells.

A New Bus for London by Heatherwick Studios

Read more about the design in our earlier story »

A New Bus for London by Heatherwick Studios

The exhibition continues until 30 September - read more details here and watch Heatherwick demonstrate the exhibition guide dispenser inspired by printing presses in our earlier movie here or below.

See all our stories about Thomas Heatherwick »

Photographs are copyright Heatherwick Studio unless otherwise stated.

  • usually like Heatherwick, this bus looks like it just came out of the 60's

  • DMJ

    Inspirational and informative explanation of the design process at its very best.

    The stair treads alone are worthy of an award.

  • jaycee

    And could anyone tell Marcus and Heatherwith apart in that video ? Separated at birth much ?

  • PeterB

    Users of double decker buses will know that when on the upper deck, you don't want to try going down the stairs when the bus is moving very fast. But you may also want to get your bearings so that you know exactly where to get off and when the next stop is coming up. So one good place to stand as you get close to the end of your journey, is at the top of the stairs, ready to run down as the bus slows down. Unfortunately the exaggerated styling around the rear of this bus has closed off one of the main views you want by cladding in the entire rear quarter, except for a small strip along the stairway. It is the general view you want to see before you start down the stairs, not the view available while doing so. Trying to do that can be just dangerous while on the move.

  • I love the back and the stairs, but I'm not so sure about the front. I'm guessing they're not either as they only show it for a short while in the footage.

  • jay

    yes lovely and only 1.4 million each with a regular bus costing less than £200,000 – understand the need for ecological design and it does look nice but also all too aware the price of travel in London has doubled in recent years with the already decommisioned bendy bus and now Boris' vanity designer bus and it's extra member of staff doing nothing on the back platform

    • Crunchynuts


      If I was a maths teacher I would give you an 'F' as your calculations appear to be grossly misinformed. As far as I’m aware the total project cost was approx £13 million to design, develop and manufacture 8 vehicles with a further 600 to follow (which will happen due to BoJo getting reelected). You can’t therefore just divide £13 million by 8!!! It does actually cost something to design and develop a project you ninnie……
      TFL have gone on record many times to say the per-vehicle cost will be comparable to an existing hybrid type vehicle i.e. around £300K. Not bad then for an amazing looking bus.

      Hooray for curly Thomas Heatherwick!