The name's Foster, Lord Foster

Niki May Young
Monday 05 Jan 2009

Does Norman Foster hold secret Bond ambition?

Sharp suits, a penchant for sleek design and a smooth external poise are just three of the attributes which could lend Lord Norman Foster to an affinity with action-hero James Bond. But now a partnership with one of Bond’s favourite car manufacturers, Aston Martin, cements the link between the two British idols. Foster and the British automotive brand have teamed up to win first prize in the redesign competition for the already iconic Routemaster buses in London.

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…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.”

A sleek exterior will encase all of the modern access of regular London buses with the quirky functionality of the existing Routemaster buses using environmentally sensitive technology. A release by Foster + Partners states that: “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 buses will offer users a greater outlook on London particularly on the upper deck which will feature a glazed roof. The traditional rear-entry point which can be seen in such feature films as Cliff Richard’s Summer Holiday, Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban and none other than the Bond classic Live and Let Die, will be reinstated with fresh glory.

Niki May Young
News Editor

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