London’s Routemaster, the iconic double–decker red bus, had served the city since the 50’s, when in 2005 it was finally deemed unsustainable and was swiftly retired from its duties. Its design throughout the years had became a symbol to the city, as well as an important tourist attraction, somewhat as recognizable as the Big Ben. In 2008, the new City mayor Boris Johnson held an international design competition in order to find an appropriate replacement, one capable of living up to its predecessor’s fame. Two joint winners where selected through this process, one by bus design company Capoco and another by Foster and Partners with the support of Aston Martin.
By late 2009 the bus company Wrightbus was awarded the contract to create the New Routemaster and the enfant terrible of english architecture and design, Thomas Heatherwick, was asked to join in order to style the final design. The New Routemaster was presented a few days ago to the public and is expected to hit the streets by early 2012, in time for the Summer Olympics.