Architect Bjarke Ingels has unveiled plans to turn the chimneys at Battersea Power Station in London into giant sparking Tesla coils, powered by pedestrians passing through a public square beside the historic building.
Ingels explained the idea in a lecture at the Royal Academy in London last night, where he delivered the annual architecture lecture.
"We're working with experts in Tesla coils, looking into how to incorporate it into the chimneys so essentially we might celebrate the transformation from carbon footprint to human footprint," said Ingels, showing images and a movie of an electric arc passing between two of the 1933 power station's 100-metre-high chimneys.
"We imagine it like Big Ben, when the clock strikes the hour, we can have this celebration of human energy and human life," he said.
Ingels' architecture studio BIG has been commissioned to design a public piazza beside the decommissioned Art Deco structure, which is at the centre of a huge redevelopment project.
Called Malaysia Square, BIG's piazza could feature a piezoelectric pavement that stores energy as people walk over it. The pavement could generate up to a kilowatt of energy, Ingels said.