Naliandrah is one of the most exotic interpretations in Melbourne of what we know as the International Style of architecture. At the time of construction, this house was dazzlingly contemporary. Quartz pebble gardens and cacti were in full vogue.
Built at the end of a Toorak cul-de-sac in a subdivision of the late 1960s, a giant brise-soleil (sun-screen) with a Middle Eastern pattern shades the generous expanses of plate glass on the first floor. On the ground floor, a screen of concrete arches provides another layer of decorative relief before arrival at the grandiose front door. At the rear, huge mature trees shade the west facing garden.
Naliandrah included a swimming pool, cabana, dance floor, and a walled solarium. Much of the orginal furntiure for the house was made to order in Italy. The colonnaded dance floor, situated between the dining room and the cabana and opening on to a terrace has a clear-plastic dome ceiling for dancing 'under the stars', with a canvas canopy to keep out the heat in summer. The sunken Roman bath (large enough to be called a mini swimming pool) has gold fittings (the faucet is in the shape of a dragon), a Mediterranean-inspired mural, massage table and a telephone and is adjacent to a walled solarium. The main bedroom is part of a suite which includes a private sitting-room and separate his and her dressing-rooms.
Other houses and blocks of flats which employ similar features, though admittedly far less exuberant in resolution, can be found in Melbourne suburbs such as Caulfield, Eaglemont, Kew and East St Kilda.