Floating house Culemborg

Floating house Culemborg – the villa of Leyla and Hamdi

Hospitality translated into one transparent and door-free villa

On the smallest plot of the nine free plots within the Parijsch project in Culemborg, the owners Hamdi and Leyla Guncavdi, in collaboration with Global Architects, realized an appealing villa. Two residential blocks that deviate in the use of materials are staggered above each other, giving the outside view a surprising effect. Characteristic details were also applied in the interior. We took a look.


Private house


182 m2 BVO / 146 GBO


Kallia Theodoraki, Arthur Nuss, Tomáš Beránek and Jony Nederend


Cobel Bouw B.V.


John van Groenedaal


Bert Heijnen


“The new construction plan in the Parijsch district ignited the fire in us to start building ourselves. Partly because of a friend who owns a construction company and who also opted for a vacant lot in this neighborhood, we were triggered. That is why we built two homes in a year and a half,” says Hamdi.


Floating House

The architect's choice

The municipality of Culemborg made a pre-selection of four architects for the vacant plots in the new-build Parijsch district. Hamdi and Leyla selected Arthur Nuss of Global Architects: “The images on the Global Architects website convinced us that Arthur Nuss suited us best in terms of design and creativity. We indicated our wishes by making a mood board. We wanted a modern sleek home, calm colors, a large loft, an open downstairs space with as few doors as possible. Mainly, however, we just wanted to be surprised by the architect. And yes, his first sketch immediately appealed to us,” says Leyla.

“The challenge was to design an appealing villa on this wide but shallow plot. At the front we had to stay three meters from the fence. It had to be a monolithic house, using different materials that together form a whole. The difference in the use of materials can be seen in the two blocks that are staggered above each other, the ground floor of which is finished with dark stucco creating a floating effect and the upper part with light-coloured wooden slats. Slender floor-to-ceiling glass elements have been installed in each of these building blocks, just as the skylight centrally placed in the kitchen provides a sea of ​​natural light and a great sense of outdoor life. Also striking is the sleek finish of the facade with the recessed front door that matches the dark facade in color and design.


Kitchen area/vide

Behind the front door we enter a corridor with floor-to-ceiling cupboard walls that are hardly noticeable. The clean white wall lines are continued and the handles are covered in the walls. The arch makes the inviting entrance to extensive living and living space. The kitchen and sitting area are an open hole, only interrupted by a partition wall with the decorative fireplace on one side and the television on the sitting side. The idea of ​​using as few doors as possible has been pushed to such an extent that in the kitchen we only see the door to the pantry. The sitting area, which they so much desire, provides a characterful separation between kitchen and sitting area. The atmosphere and sense of security in the sitting area is further accentuated by the Louvered wall that separates it from the workspace in the corner of the sitting area. By not using a door here either, contact with the living and kitchen area is maintained.


The kitchen with its spacious loft forms the central part of the living room. Central to the sitting-dining area is a focal point as it sits in the middle of the double height ceiling with the light funneling through the skylights gives the space a open and larger feeling , although the floor-to-ceiling glass sliding doors, both in the kitchen and in the sitting room, certainly contribute to this. In the center of the void, the artful hanging lamp, made up of oval plates that float in the air.  The sun moves gradually through the day like an imploring hand over the house.

In addition to its large window elements, the bedroom has two floor-to-ceiling glass windows that offer a wide view of the surroundings from the bed. The bedroom is further characterized by a spacious walk-in wardrobe, with cupboard space on both sides. The walls in the adjacent bathroom have a travertine wall. The bathroom has a luxurious oval-shaped bath and a spacious shower.

The 90-degree stairscase

A striking detail in the sitting kitchen is also the stairs to the first floor. Placing the four downstairs steps in a 180-degree bend in relation to the stairs and pointing invitingly into the kitchen not only creates a special effect, but prevents the stairs from ending too steeply.The Last few steps are covered in the same material and the floor breaking this from the stairs also adds a connection between the floor and the stairs but allowing the stairs to have a floating feeling.


The kitchen island has a ceramic top made of Dekston Consentino, a natural stone of unique beauty and powerful properties. The stone creates a luxurious feeling and the gray kitchen splashback is in the same gray color as the cooking island adds to that.


When we overlook the house at the end of our tour on the back terrace, Leyla says: “The house is completely to our liking, but it also shows who we are. The openness and transparency through the many large windows. The accessibility by hardly using doors. The light that draws over our home is like a new painting every day. It makes us happy and cheerful. In that context, a complement is also due to Arthur Nuss, who has the creativity to make our thoughts, our wishes, tangible and visible. That deserves a big compliment.”

Architects Kallia Theodoraki and Arthur Nuss

“It’s the creativity that brings people’s wishes to life.”

“I think the most important task of an architect is to bring people’s wishes to life in a good design. That was also what Leyla and Hamdi meant when they said: “We like to be surprised.”

They give you the confidence as an architect, they give you a certain freedom to show your creativity, but it also gives you a responsibility to fulfill their wish to design a home in which they feel at home. If that succeeds, it will also give me, as an architect, a special satisfaction.”