Windy Hill Sports and Community Precinct


Essendon, VIC



Total Project Cost

AUD $60M


Essendon Football Club

Windy Hill (officially called the Essendon Recreation Reserve) is an Australian rules football and cricket ground located in Essendon.

The former home of the Essendon Football Club, it holds a special place in the hearts and minds of many people across Australia, and no more so than those who reside in Moonee Valley. Windy Hill was the Club’s primary administrative and training base until 2013 when they moved to their new facility at Tullamarine (aslo designed by Jackson Architecture); and although no longer playing AFL or training at the venue, Essendon Football Club still recognises Windy Hill as its spiritual home.

The site is home to many other sports and community facilities such as the Essendon Cricket Club, Essendon Bowls Club, Essendon Croquet Club, Windy Hill Fitness Centre, Windy Hill Venue and the Essendon District Football League. Further, it sits in close proximity to both the Essendon Primary School and Penleigh and Essendon Grammar, providing enticing possibilities for expanded community use.

The vision responds to the project objectives. It proposes to create:

  • a healthy and safe space, activated by increased community use opportunities; and
  • an inclusive space, with a diversity of activities promoted ranging from community football and fitness to community functions and festivals.


Based on the analysis undertaken the vision sees the possible inclusion of:

  • a hub for football in the north-western suburbs of Metropolitan Melbourne;
  • a Community Centre;
  • a running track;
  • a community focused café;
  • a community playground for children and adults with adult swings and slides that parents, grandparents and children can enjoy together or on their own;


  • urban design and landscaping that provides story telling opportunities to celebrate the site’s history;
  • locker and change facilities for cricket, AFLW, EDFL and community football teams (junior and senior);
  • lights to allow for evening training and improved safety;
  • space for outdoor broadcast vans to provide for telecasting matches; and
  • the refurbishment of an existing stand with upgraded events/food and beverage facilities.

Its overall aim is to create a meaningful, high quality public space that the community are proud of and can use for recreation, fitness, and socialising.