Antonio Lasciac (Gorizia 1856 – Cairo 1946)
Antonio Lasciac was born in 1856 in Gorizia in the Borgo San Rocco district. As a child he showed interest in architecture and a predisposition for working in that sector. After attending the Oberrealschule he went to the Vienna Polytechnic where he graduated in Architecture. In 1882 he moved to Egypt and took an important step in his career, being nominated in 1907 Chief Architect of the Royal Palaces by the last Egyptian Khedive, Abbas Hilmi II, for whom he rebuilt the Abdine palace in Cairo. In 1907 Lasciac bought from Anna Biber more than 18 thousand square meters of the Rafut Hill that looks upon Gorizia city and built his house there. His villa has a 28 meters high tower, reminiscent of a minaret. It is considered Lasciac’s masterpiece, since it mixes free elements with Arab influences, creating a unique neo-Islamic syncretism. The villa is considered almost “a self-portrait made into a building”. It is likely the only example of the Neo-Mamluk architecture in Europe.