Between 1989 and 1996, Lima was one of the four partners of Projeto Paulista de Arquitetura office in São Paulo and won several distinguished national architecture and landscape architecture competitions and awards in Brazil, including for the Federal District Legislative Assembly building on the Monumental Axis in Brasília. Construction recently finished on the 500-squre-foot complex, which houses the activities of 24 state representatives and more than 1,500 employees. The project critically addresses the functionalist Pilot Plan while paying tribute to the adjacent modern and monumental architecture along the National Mall, some of which was designed by Oscar Niemeyer. The project has recently been featured on the cover of Brazilian architecture magazines AU and Projeto.
Lima was the recipient of the prestigious 2007 International Bruno Zevi Prize for architecture history and criticism and several national and international research grants, including archival work, writing, and producing analytical digital models with a group of graduate research assistants. His historic and theoretical research and publishing are on modernity and post-WWII architecture and urbanism. He wrote a dissertation about architecture and global cities titled "The City as Spectacle."
Lima is currently writing a comprehensive and illustrated artistic biography about Italian-born Brazilian architect Lina Bo Bardi, to be published by Yale University Press. He also has taught and conducted research at the University of São Paulo, Brazil (1988-96), the Schools of Architecture in Grenoble and Saint-Etiènne, France (1992), the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (1997-99), and Columbia University, Heyman Center for the Humanities (2001-2002).
He also practices drawing, painting, and printmaking and has participated in several exhibitions.