The design incorporates two staircases and three doors, including a hop-on-hop-off platform at the back of the bus.
Seven more of the double-deckers will be put into service on route 38 in February 2012.
Read more about the launch in our story on Dezeen Wire, see renders of Heatherwick’s design that were unveiled in May 2010 in our earlier story here and check out designs for the competition back in 2008 here.
Photographs are copyright Heatherwick Studio unless otherwise stated.
Here are some more details from Heatherwick Studio:
New Bus for London
In January 2010, Heatherwick Studio joined the team leading the design of a New Bus for London. The project marks the first time in more than 50 years that TFL has commissioned and overseen the development of a bus built specifically for the capital.
Above photo is by Iwan Baan
Working alongside specialist bus manufacturer, Wrightbus, the external design has been developed to reflect the functional requirements of the vehicle. A long asymmetric front window provides the driver with clear kerbside views, while a wrapped glazing panel reflects passenger circulation – bringing more daylight into the bus and offering views out over London.
By incorporating an open platform at its rear, the bus reinstates one of the much-loved features of the 1950s Routemaster which offered a ‘hop-on hop-off’ service. The new design will also have three doors and two staircases, making it quicker and easier for passengers to board. In engineering terms, the New Bus for London will be 15 per cent more fuel efficient than the existing hybrid buses and 40 per cent more efficient than conventional diesel double-deckers.
Thomas Heatherwick said: "It has been 50 years since a bus was last designed and commissioned specifically for London. This has been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a team to look again at the opportunities for a new open-platform bus. It has been an honour to be asked by London's transport authority to take an integrated approach and design everything that you see and experience from the outside down to the tiniest details of the interior."
Designs for the new bus were unveiled by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, in May 2010. The full-size mock up of the new Bus for London has now been relocated to the London Transport Museum, Covent Garden and will be on display until June 2011. A prototype, developed and manufactured by Wrightbus, has just been delivered in November 2011 and the first five buses are due to enter passenger service in early 2012.