27 Crosby Row was built as a relatively high-status artisan’s house in Bermondsey in the late 18th century. It is one of four remaining buildings on Crosby Row (numbers 21-27) that were constructed between 1770 and 1773, and it was given a Grade II listing in February 2004. The structure to the rear of the building was added later, in the 1880’s, and is not referred to in the listing. The single-story rear spaces at ground level were used historically as warehouse / workshop buildings. Until the early 1980s, they housed vats for boiling eels and were covered with makeshift, uninsulated roofs to protect from rain.
Adam Lowe discovered the house in the 1990s, prior to its listing, when the building was in such a state of ruin that from the basement it was possible to see the sky through the roof. A painter with a young family, Adam restored the property to its current state, carrying out much of the work himself and maintaining as much of the original fabric as possible. He used it as his family home and painting and printing studio. In this reconfiguration and restoration, the key goals are to:
Given the site and listing constraints, the goal from the outset has been to make minimal architectural interventions with maximum historic integrity, efficiency and elegance.