Our normal daily routines take us past scores of abandoned places. Sometimes it’s hard to imagine that anything exists on the other side of the walls. This photo collection takes us through derelict hospitals, stations and factories, proving that despite the silence within, these forgotten places are still very much alive, especially to urban explorers.
Riverview Hospital in Coquitlam in British Columbia was an asylum built in 1913 to ease overcrowding from the Royal Hospital in Victoria. It was designed to accomodate more than 4,500 patients, although only 250 beds are still in active use today. The building (above and below) is the abandoned West Lawn site, which once housed some of the most troubled psychiatric patients in Western Canada.
Closed since 1983, West Lawn is a labyrinth of long, dark corridors and peeling paint. The hospital’s derelict wings and eerie atmosphere makes it ideal as a film location. Movies such as The X-Files, Supernatural, Romeo Must Die and Dark Angel have all been shot here.
The photographer has done a great job of capturing this abandoned tobacco factory in Lucca, Italy. The lighting is perfect thanks to the holes in the already transparent ceiling, projecting a faint glow onto the far wall.
This old hospital outside Florence is an Art Deco-era building that remains in reasonably good order – despite the broken windows. Speed, a member of the 28 Days Later forum posted some fantastic images here. Note the dusty x-ray of some unknown person’s rib cage among the peeling plaster.
Believe it or not, this was once the entrance to the Botanic Gardens Railway Station in Glasgow. Beyond this gloomy portal, deep underground, are two silent platforms that have been closed to the public since 1939.
The tunnel mouth is now blocked by an iron gate, but it is still possible to see the deserted station beyond. Sunlight shines in from the opening above, distorted only by the iron girders supporting the station roof. Above this derelict and vandalised space, the Glasgow Botanic Gardens stretch out in all their floral glory, emphasising a marked distinction between the world above ground and the one below. Check out our full feature on this station here.
Whoever was last out of this abandoned car clearly forgot to close the door behind them. Having clearly seen better days, this rusty wreck has only one dial left on the dash and appears to have been crashed at one point or another.
It’s incredible how clever photo editing can give life to scenes of urban decay like those above, creating a very different atmosphere to the days when these places were in use, and reframing them in a bizarre new light.
(The building at top left of this article is the abandoned Hotel Belvédère du Rayon Vert in Cerbère, France. Built in the Art Deco style between 1928 and 1932, the hotel is designed to resemble a ship and even has its own cinema and a tennis court on the roof. Part of the building has been resurrected as apartments. The rest is considered a historic landmark and is open to visitors.)
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