Heatherwick welcomes new London bus inspired by his design

Search results:

Heatherwick welcomes new London bus inspired by his design as "back-to-front" compliment

London is to get a new, smaller version of Thomas Heatherwick's New Routemaster bus – although the British designer has had nothing to do with this iteration (+ slideshow).

Enviro400H City Bus by Alexander Dennis Limited

Bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis Limited's new Enviro400H City Bus, which will be introduced to the capital later this year, features a diagonally glazed front staircase and curved rear windscreen similar to Heatherwick's design.

Enviro400H City Bus by Alexander Dennis Limited

Colin Robertson, CEO of the bus maker, called the model "a spectacular, new-look vehicle" and described it as having a "London look".

Enviro400H City Bus by Alexander Dennis Limited

"This is a spectacular, new-look vehicle that will bring a further dimension to transport in the suburbs and the city centre of London," he said.

Enviro400H City Bus by Alexander Dennis Limited

"It builds on the 'London look' with a glazed stairwell, wrap-over rear saloon windscreen and a series of unique design features that reduce solar gain."

Heatherwick's design was unveiled in 2000 and is gradually being rolled out on central London routes. The ADL version, which is smaller and features just one staircase and two doors compared to the two staircases and three doors of the Heatherwick original, is designed for suburban use.

Enviro400H City Bus by Alexander Dennis Limited

However the copyright for Heatherwick's design is owned by Transport for London (TFL), who have sanctioned the new ADL design.

Enviro400H City Bus by Alexander Dennis Limited

"We wanted [Heatherwick's] New Routemaster to set a standard for future bus development in London, and are delighted that ADL has designed their new double deck bus with the capital's passengers in mind," said TFL director of buses Mike Weston.

Enviro400H City Bus by Alexander Dennis Limited

He added: "London has long been at the cutting edge of bus design and technology, and we welcome any new vehicle that delivers benefits to our passengers, as well as reduced emissions that contribute to improving air quality."

Thomas Heatherwick's London bus
Thomas Heatherwick's New Routemaster bus was unveiled in 2000

The Enviro400H City Bus, which is a variant on ADL's best-selling Enviro400 hybrid double-decker, will be introduced on the 78 route between Shoreditch and Peckham.

Thomas Heatherwick welcomed the ADL design as a "back-to-front" compliment.

"In a back-to-front way the New Routemaster can take it as a compliment that it has influenced a 'London Look'," Heatherwick told Dezeen. "It confirms how it has become part of London's landscape and personality."

A New Bus for London by Heatherwick Studios
Thomas Heatherwick's New Routemaster bus has a diagonally glazed front staircase

"Millions of us Londoners spend hundreds of hours of our lives on London's buses, and often those buses aren't as good as they could be," he added. "So the 78 route becoming more comfortable and efficient can only be a positive step."

ADL's Robertson said the Enviro400 "has a reputation second-to-none for fuel economy, reduced emissions, reliability and all-round performance".

A New Bus for London by Heatherwick Studios
The front staircase of Thomas Heatherwick's New Routemaster bus

Heatherwick said: "My studio's passion has always been the passengers' experience and if our New Routemaster has made people expect more from all busses then we're happy."

Last month, TfL revealed that it will fit opening windows on the upper decks of Heatherwick's buses as the designer originally intended, after passengers complained about the heat.