Depopulation in Japan leads company to renovate two apartments into one huge living space

Innovative new renovation style creates the most spacious apartments Japan has ever seen. 

As Japan’s birthrate plummets and the country’s population of retired seniors soars, towns and regions outside of big city centres are quickly becoming less populated, prompting local groups and corporations to come up with creative solutions to help deal with the issue.

Osaka Prefectural Housing Corporation recently won a Good Design Award for their innovative idea to renovate two empty apartments and combine them into one huge living space, solving the problem of empty dwellings while providing renters and/or buyers with some of the biggest and most unusual apartments you’ll find in Japan.

The renovation project is being dubbed “Nikoichi“, which literally means “combining the working parts of two or more broken machines to make one functioning machine”, but in this case, there’s a play on words where two dwellings (which can be read as “niko“) become one (ichi).

▼ This floor plan shows two apartments with their adjoining wall removed to create one huge apartment.

The Nikoichi renovation allows for a variety of layouts, depending on the style of building being renovated. These floor plans show how two 45-square-metre (484-square-foot) apartments can be transformed to create a spacious 90-square-metre apartment.

90-square-metre apartments are virtually unheard of in Japan, and taking a look at some of the photos of the renovated space show living areas that are the stuff of dreams for most regular Japanese people.

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