An abandoned chemistry lab

When a large industry starts to decline and fall apart, it often drags down its scientific institutions and manufacturing facilities, too.

The research is halted, the labs are shut down, the staff is dismissed and the places where only a day ago work was humming become empty.

Sometimes all this happens so suddenly that all the equipment and even some personal belongings are left to the mercy of fate inside the desolate facilities.

Most likely that is exactly what happened to this lab that used to conduct pesticide research.

01. Right now we are in the loft of the building. It was constructed in the 1960s and has been abandoned for several years. The research institute buildings located around the lab are still occupied. Apparently, this is why the lab building still has power.

02. In front of us is the system of fume hoods from the chemical research rooms that are located in the lower levels.

03.There are three floors in the building, and the ground floor and the first floor are basically empty. The second floor is the most fascinating, because almost all of its rooms are intact.

04. Some of the rooms are very messy.

05. Others, on the opposite, are quite clean and tidy, and they don’t look like rooms of a building that’s been abandoned for several years.


07. An unusual design for office equipment.

08. I don’t like finding fully operational equipment abandoned like this, as if nobody can find an application for it. This is an IRF-22 refractometer.

09. There are always lots of various glass vessels in chemistry labs.

10. When I saw so much unwanted chemical glassware I remembered Chemistry lessons at my school. There was always a shortage of equipment and everyone was afraid they might accidentally break one of the flasks.




14. Unfortunately, in Moscow and the Moscow region there is an increasing tendency of destruction of the research facilities created during the Soviet era.

15. Fortunately, due to being located far from residential areas, this abandoned lab stayed undiscovered and avoided looting for a while.

16. But this is how things were in 2011. By the end of 2012 many people had heard about the lab and the looting had begun, with people taking out valuables and destroying the equipment and glassware just for fun.

17. While these photos were being taken, people kept sneaking into the lab building and walking down the hallways despite it being very late.

19. In this room there were unpacked books about pesticides.

20. A MO-62 type DC bridge.


22. Naturally, there are large quantities of chemical reagents in the lab. Some of the containers are broken and all the spaces are infused with a peculiar smell.

23. An electrical SNOL-3,5 drying oven.

24. In here, a surprise was waiting for us: one of the few clocks was emitting a high level of radiation.

25. Having spent more than two hours in the lab and inhaled quite a lot of chemical fumes, we leave the building. This is the end of our photographic report from an abandoned lab.

Images by saoirse-2010, reproduced with permission

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  1. Awesome article! That place must have been so much fun to explore. Amazing that almost everything was still intact. It reminded me of some abandoned hospitals I explored in Detroit – vials of radioactive gas for medical imaging were lying around.

    Your blog is great. I just subscribed. Can’t wait to read more!

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