Château d’If: upgrading 500 m² of paving with Prompt
Between the start of the year and the beginning of the 2019 summer tourist season, France’s National Monuments Center had restoration work carried out on the access path to Château d’If fortress. The pedestrian path from the landing quay to the castle was upgraded using Prompt natural quick-setting cement.
The renovation of the access to Château d’If fortress, on a tiny island less than 3 miles for downtown Marseilles, was carried out over a six-month period. Prompt natural quick-setting cement was used for the job. Not only does Château d'If command a unique panoramic view, but it is also famously known as the fortress-prison from which the fictitious hero of the novel The Count of Monte-Cristo (1844) by Alexandre Dumas escaped, and it therefore attracts many visitors. Together with the marine environment, the footfall of numerous tourists had severely damaged the stone-paved path leading to the prison building from the landing quay.
The purpose of the work was to make the paving durably safe with a natural solution that is consistent with heritage assets. One of the key requirements of the work was rapid restoration of the path so as to prevent closing the site to visitors. Identifying a solution that is durable, withstands the marine environment, and meets the aesthetic requirement of preserving the color of the natural paving stone was a major issue.
m² of paving at Château d’If
tons of Prompt natural quick-setting cement used
visitors per year
Prompt natural quick-setting cement was mixed with lime to produce a natural concrete. Its compatibility and complementarity with lime meant it set quickly, stands up better to the aggressions of the marine environment, and is naturally pleasing to the eye. It was used as jointing mortar by the crews of stonecutters and pavers who cut and placed new limestone pavers on the shallow-stepped lane. Each stone was chosen individually and recut by hand before being embedded in the mortar, leaving just the top surface showing.
Vicat’s Prompt natural quick-setting cement team provided technical assistance for our customer working on the project, contractor Vivian et Cie, to help ensure that the expectations of the project owner, the National Monuments Centre, were met.