£30m mixed-use scheme by developer Downing will be crowned by a 30-storey tower overlooking Mancunian Way.

Ian Simpson Architects has been appointed by Liverpool-based developer Downing and Manchester City Council to design a dramatic mixed-use scheme alongside the elevated Mancunian Way.

The site of the £30m development is bounded by Wilmot Street, Newcastle Street and Chester Road. The design, which developers hope will become an instant landmark in the city, features an elevated garden, raised to the same height as the urban motorway.

There will be two main buildings: a 30-storey, high-rise block providing accommodation for 300 key workers, and a second, medium-rise building to house 350 students. The scheme will be skirted by six blocks of two-storey commercial units, providing office and retail space, and three levels of car parking.

“This is an incredibly well-known route around Manchester and we wanted something that makes use of its excellent location,” said Downing’s Ian Orton. “We were particularly impressed with the strong use of glass throughout the design.”

Several projects by Ian Simpson have already changed Manchester’s skyline, most notably No 1 Deansgate, the wedge-shaped apartment block where Ian Simpson himself lives, and the lottery-funded Urbis exhibition centre.