Vaxholms Fortress

This fortress, protecting Stockholm, is situated on a small island. The old renders containing cement was removed and the façade was re-rendered with lime mortar and finally coated with a lime paint.


Vaxholm outside Stockholm
Kulturfasader i Dalarna AB
Project Date

Issues and stakes

Vaxholms Fortress (Vaxholms kastell) is situated on a small island. The first small forts were built in the early 16th century, and in 1719 it prevented the Russians from attacking Stockholm. After the Finnish war and the loss of Åland, the fortress expanded significantly into the shape and functions it has today. Today, it houses the museum exhibiting Swedish coastal defence over the last 500 years. This building has had many shapes over the years. Its present design dates from 1833. The roof was normally removed during wartime and then replaced in peacetime. Twenty years ago, the roof was replaced to prevent water and moisture from penetrating  the building. Cement based renders were removed and replaced with new lime mortar. Finally it was covered with a lime paint. The upper wooden part was also painted as part of this project


Normal wear and tear will affect the original renders. And also, during the last part of the 20th century, renovating old façades dating several hundreds of years back was renovated and repaired with cement containing materials. These brittle and hard mortars does not comply with the original lime containing bedding mortars and renders. Together with the use of modern organic based paints this affected the renders, giving peeling surfaces, trapping of moisture og damages to bricks and joints. For Vaxholm this involved a careful removing of all cement based renders, without destroying the substrate even more. Joints were re-pointed with lime-based mortars, and a new render applied with NHL-based renders in three layers. Correct application involving pre-and after watering and correct hardening condition will ensure the durability in this coast climate. All surfaces were painted with a pure limebased paint, pigmented to the historical colours.