Most of São Tomé and Príncipe development was based on cocoa and coffee production. The built typologies to provide the plantations - roças - are a unique example of cultural and architectural heritage. With the independence from Portugal in 1975, the owners and higher class workers left. These structures are now mainly occupied by the former field workers. In a place where nature can take over any building in a question of months, this informal appropriation of the space has ironically proved somehow vital for the preservation of this heritage paused in time.
Francisco Nogueira (b. 1985) is a Photographer based in Lisbon. Always interested in arts and images, he graduated in Architecture (FA-UTL, Lisbon) in 2008, and started that same year working as a photographer. In 2010 he was awarded the scholarship INOV Contacto to work in Ventura Valcarce Architects in Barcelona. Back to Lisbon later that year he started his own photography studio working with clients and magazines in Portugal and abroad. His work focuses mainly on architecture, but also on advertising, portrait, product and travel photography. His editorial clients include DOMUS Magazine and The New York Times. In 2013 he published the book As Rocas de Sao Tomé e Príncipe, written by architects Duarte Pape and Rodrigo Rebelo de Andrade, published by Tinta-da-China [sold out].