Housing block in Gärdet

A typical housing block form the 1920's. A functionalistic façade with no decorations. Smooth surfaces only with movements in the balconies.


Murtek AB
Project Date

Issues and stakes

The area of Gärdet, in the eastern part of the centre of Stockholm, was in former times a hunting and exercise area for the Swedish military. This district was created at the end of the 20s and the beginning of the 30s. The city plan was based on competition which was won by the architect Arvid Stille. The houses in the area were mainly built in the 30s with a similar functionalistic architecture with rendered façades. The area has become a role model for housing for the rest of the world. As with all rendered façades, a renewal of the render is generally necessary after 40-80 years. In 2010, this became due for this typical building. Lack of adhesion to the substrate, cracks and fissures, together with the results of several years of use of the wrong materials and paint was the starting point. Local damage, frost damage and the balconies were in need of renovation.


To be compatible with the original materials used in the building of these apartment houses, NHL-based mortar was chosen. The use of cement had slowly been introduced in the construction industry, and modern NHL pre-mixed mortar exhibits similar properties in relation to compression and flexural strength. Cracks and damage to the substrate were repaired accordingly and a new three-layer render was applied. To complete the renovation, a paint based on NHL binder was chosen. This paint has the same appearance as a pure lime paint, with full damp diffusion open properties with high water retention and a mineral surface, but with a stronger surface and less chaulking/smitting.