Fold-up family home is the future: We chat to Yo! Home designer Simon Woodruffe



Simon Woodruffe, serial entrepreneur of Yo! Sushi and Yotel, launched his futuristic vision of modern living during London Design Festival 2012 entitled Yo! Home, and ACHICA Living went to take a look. The Yo! Home prototype apartment on display at the event was built as an 800 square foot display – the average size of a two bedroom house - and has been heavily influenced by Simon’s interest in Japan and background in stage design. Here's an exclusive glimspe of the fold-away pad and we talk to the creative force behind this futuristic concept...



Step inside the bedroom area where with a press of a button the entire space is raised to the ceiling to reveal a lounge room underneath. Outside the bedroom/lounge there is a kitchen space complete with food preparation surfaces and appliances hidden behind cupboard doors and a breakfast counter that slots into the walls.





Another button press and a dining table rises from the floor along with a seating space.



Other areas in the reconfigured apartment is a second bedroom that turns into a home office, a bathroom, wine cellar and second living room. A pretty incredible feat of engineering that designer Simon Woodruffe personally showed to eager visitors of the exhibition.

ACHICA Living chatted to Simon to ask a few questions about his vision of the future of living:

When do you envisage seeing Yo! Home designs rolled out?

Well I launched Yotel in 2007 here at 100% Design and within 18 months the first Yotel was built at Heathrow, so I would imagine a similar  time length for Yo! Home. It is more of a city centre concept though, and very Japanese in design, so Tokyo is one of the forefront contenders where the idea would work and be embraced.  Battersea Power Station and Earls Court are places  in the UK that would really work for the concept as well as they are places ready to be regenerated.

What would be someone’s decision process in choosing a Yo! Home to  live in?

Well obviously, space in a city centre is a problem, and Yo! Home maximises the space. In terms of style, the ‘template’ of home is endless – in theory you would be able to design your house and customise it down to the last detail.  From minimal design such as this prototype one here at 100% Design to traditional styles, the possibilities are unlimited.

What inspires you daily?

Thinking up new and original ideas.  Japan.  Stage design with all the moving parts.

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Maxine Bulloch, ACHICA

View all posts by Maxine Bulloch, ACHICA