Chris Mackenzie

Director, Architect

Chris is the founding director of Designscape Architects. Whilst at Designscape, he has been responsible for a diverse range of projects; Science Studio, art gallery, production and archive facility for Damien Hirst, Hill Farm Dairy, Park Grounds Energy Recovery facility and a number of award winning residential projects including Twinneys House, Innox Lodge and Chilliswood House, Bath. He has a particular interest in sustainable design and creative re-use.

 Formerly a senior project architect at Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, he held overall responsibility for the £23m Portland Square Building at the University of Plymouth and also worked on the technical design issues of the 2008 RIBA Stirling Prize winning Accordia Housing in Cambridge. Chris regularly contributes to the Masters Degree course at the University of Bath and is a member of The Devon and Somerset Design Review Panel. Chris trained at Portsmouth University and is a former President of the Bristol Society of Architects and Chairman of the RIBA Bristol and Bath Branch.

Spencer Back

Director, Architect

Spencer joined Designscape as co-director in 2010. Whilst at the practice he has been Project Director responsible for a wide range of residential and non-residential projects from inception to completion, including; Exactaform Tools, Coventry; Springfield Farmhouse, 7-9 Bannerdown, Bath and Hillcrest Houses, Bristol and the Avenue Minehead.

Prior to joining Designscape, Spencer was for five years a director of Angus Meek Architects in Bristol, where he was responsible for a range of new build and refurbishment projects for both end user and developer clients, from concept design through to construction and completion. These projects included the headquarters and distribution building for medical supplies company Vygon UK in Swindon, and residential schemes such as the award winning Praedium, a development of 95 apartments and 11 houses in Redland Hill Bristol for Crosby Homes. He has also worked on several student accommodation projects in Bristol, including the 356 room Dean’s Court whilst working for Alec French Architects.

Spencer had previously worked in London for ten years, first for Alsop Lyall and Stormer then John Lyall Architects, on a diverse range of prestigious projects including Tottenham Hale rail and underground stations, Harry Ramsden’s Fish restaurant in Cardiff Bay and Listed Corn Exchange and Third White Cloth Hall in Leeds. Afterwards joining Foggo Associates where he worked on a number of influential and award-winning office buildings in the City of London; 60 Queen Victoria Street, Cannon Street Station and 288 Bishopsgate.

Alex Sykes

Associate Architect

Alex joined Designscape Architects in 2006, becoming an Associate in 2009. In the role of project architect, Alex has led many of our award-winning projects including Twinneys, Monkton Farleigh, Sydney Buildings, Hardy House and Calderwood. Non-residential work has included Hill Farm Dairy, Holcombe Mill and the Corinium Museum. Alex has been a member of the RIBA Conservation Register since 2013, exercising this specialism on the practice’s many listed building projects.

Prior to moving to Bath, Alex worked for Hopkins Architects on a number of prestigious projects, including Portcullis House and the Wellcome Trust Headquarters in London. Alex also worked on the refurbishment of the Arnolfini, Bristol’s International Centre for Contemporary Arts, for architects Snell Associates.

Josh Wyles


Josh joined Designscape in 2015. Whilst at the practice Josh has led a number of our projects, most notably Exactaform Tools, Coventry, and Park Grounds Energy Recovery facility.

Josh joined Designscape after relocating from London, where he had spent two years completing a two-form entry primary school and running a Diploma Studio at the Cass for AOC Architecture.

Prior to this he spent a year at the urban design consultancy Publica following the completion of his Part II at The Cass; working on strategic documents for London Councils and large developers for Soho, Covent Garden and Paddington. His self-directed final year project was nominated for the RIBA Silver Medal. The project explored the potential of Architectural Residency and involved setting up a Studio and Museum in the Whitgift Shopping Centre in Croydon.

As well as Architecture Josh has also worked in stage design including the set for the Popelei production of Knowledge of Angels. Josh completed his Part III course at UWE in 2018 and is working on a range of projects in the office.

Lauren Tyrrell


Lauren joined Designscape in 2016 and has worked on a range of projects whilst at the practice, most notably acting as Project Lead for the residential projects Biddestone Schoolhouse and Park Cottage. She completed her Part 3 course at the beginning of 2019 and is now a fully qualified Architect.

Lauren graduated from Oxford Brookes University in July 2016, where she achieved her Masters in Architecture and obtained her RIBA Part II Award. Her self-directed final year project explored the City of Rotterdam, focussing in realised and unrealised architecture. She culminated her two years with a nomination for the Outstanding Work Award.

Lauren joined Designscape after relocating from Yorkshire, where she gained significant experience throughout her Part I Placement. Here she focussed mainly on projects in the residential and small commercial sectors, taking projects from inception through to completion.

Livia Klimaj


Livia joined Designscape in September 2017, bringing with her a diverse range of expertise on a range of projects, whilst also developing her interests in Building Information Modelling.

Livia is an ARB registered Architect, qualifying at Budapest University of Technology and Economics and spending one term on her final project as an Erasmus student at Universidad de Sevilla. She completed her postgraduate studies at Budapest UTE Dep. of Urbanism and the Hungarian Architects’ Association’s Master Course with work experience at Foldes & Petho Architects and MCXVI Architects in Budapest.

Following her studies Livia relocated to UK to work at FCB Studios on projects such as Bath Western Riverside & Compston Mill. She moved onto smaller scale projects at Jacques Partnership and Stonewood Design. More recently she has been setting up and coordinating BIM Level 2 delivery of landscape design for Lancaster University Management School at LT Studio Landscape Architects.

Hilary Bassett

Office Manager

Hilary joined Designscape Architects as our office manager in the spring of 2012. She has a passion for contemporary architecture and works closely with the directors and the rest of the team to ensure the smooth running of the practice.

Ian Hewitt

Senior Architectural Assistant

Ian joined Designscape in 2019, bringing a diverse range of experience with him.

He relocated to the South West in 2017, initially joining a small practice specialising in residential, low embodied energy schemes. Prior to his relocation, Ian worked for Maber in Nottingham, an AJ top 100 practice.

Ian has worked on a variety of projects at varying scales, ranging from smaller residential schemes, to hospitality projects and education.

Ian’s final year university project saw him travel to Tokyo, experimenting with symbiotic relationships and aquaculture in a science laboratory design scheme. His dissertation explored the benefits of human – plant interactions and eco system creations, heavily influenced by the permaculture movement.

Ian is now looking forward to achieving his RIBA Part III while working on a range of projects at Designscape.

Timothy Hayward-Browne

Architectural Assistant

Tim joined Designscape in September 2019 as a Part 1 Architectural Assistant, following his graduation from Nottingham Trent University in July. He is working on a variety of projects within Designscape, all contributing to his placement experience.

During his final year at University, Tim was highly commended for the design and technical development of his studio project ‘The Centre of Costume, Venice’ a dedicated space for residents to create a garments and textiles for events throughout the Venetian events calendar.

Tim’s final year dissertation was intrinsically linked to his studio project and focused upon industrial heritage and industrial heritage tourism, exploring how these themes could be used to revitalise and reinvent areas of Venice. These themes stemmed into his projects, looking at how old and new technologies and buildings can be combined.

Kamen Rusev

Architectural Assistant

Kamen joined Designscape in September 2019 and has taken on a variety of tasks and responsibilities, all adding to his placement experience.

He graduated with First-class honours from the University of Dundee, with his thesis focussing on the relationship and reconciliation between the natural and constructed of Renzo Piano’s workshop in Genoa, Italy. He explored the factors that informed its sustainable design, as well as investigating unordinary solutions using ‘ordinary’ materials. 

His final project focussed on Edinburgh Old Town, exploring a leftover space and its qualities, in order to realize its potential to become a lively spot for the benefit of the local community and tourists.

Project Information.