For the last 20 or so years, YO! Companies, headed by its founder Simon Woodroffe, has been creating Japanese inspired businesses around the world such as YO! Sushi and Yotel micro luxury hotels. A few years ago, the company dabbled in residential architecture with their YO! Home Prototype 1, a tricked out 800 square foot apartment with a bed that descended from the ceiling, a dining area that popped out of the floor and lighting that would look appropriate in a bottle service lounge. I wrote on LifeEdited that I liked it, but that its size, color palette and complexity made it seem more of a novelty than a viable dwelling.
Three years later, YO! Companies has launched the YO! Home Prototype 2, which addresses a number of my initial critiques.
At 430 square feet, it's a reasonable size for what is effectively a studio apartment (albeit a feature packed one). It has a muted palette of whites and woods, creating a far less polarizing look. And regarding the complexity, YO! Home Managing Director Jack Spurrier said, "The moving parts were tested and re-prototyped where necessary, ensuring perfection before the launch to market." Which brings up the most incredible aspect of Prototype 2: It is going to be used as the basis for a 24-unit prefab building in Manchester, England; a building, Spurrier reports, will stay largely true to the prototype's design.
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