“This year’s winning project is exemplary of the aesthetic and collaborative power of boutique firms,” said IIDA Executive Vice President and CEO Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA. “We are pleased to honor OPENUU as the winner of the 2019 Will Ching Design Competition and celebrate their vibrant, urban, and cohesive design.”
Kevin Lim missed laksa, the spicy soup he slurped as a child when visiting relatives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. “It was my comfort food,” recalls Lim, who is an architect as well as a trained chef—he attended Le Cordon Bleu, the now-closed culinary school near Boston, after attaining his architecture degree. Now back in Hong Kong, he’s the co-founding partner of OpenUU with his wife, design director Caroline Chou. The soup and other Southeast Asian dishes conceived by Lim have debuted at their first restaurant, Mean Noodles, the winner of the Will Ching Award for a project by a firm with five or fewer employees.