Zaha Hadid video memorial tributes from leading architects

Architecture stars including Foster, Rogers and Ingels in video tribute to "very special" Zaha Hadid

Zaha Hadid 1950-2016: leading architects including Norman Foster, Bjarke Ingels, Richard Rogers and Daniel Libeskind have paid tribute to the late Zaha Hadid in a video created by Dezeen and Architizer.

Foster called the Iraq-born architect, who died last month, "a very special person" while Libeskind said she was "a star in the firmament of ideas".

Norman Foster portrait by Dezeen
Norman Foster: "How do you sum Zaha up? A great architect and a great person. A very special person." Portrait by Dezeen

Filmed in London and New York over the last two weeks, a dazzling array of architects and leading international figures from the arts and media – many of whom had close friendships with Hadid – agreed to speak about the Pritzker-prize winner. Many of them gave moving tributes.

Daniel Libeskind portrait by Dezeen
Daniel Libeskind: "Zaha was a pioneer. And she was a star in the firmament of ideas and of poetry. And once a star goes out, there is really no-one to replace it. She was unique." Portrait by Architizer

"Zaha was a genius," said Deborah Berke, dean of Yale School of Architecture. "She was doing work that nobody else conceived of, never mind figured out how to build."

Patrik Schumacher, director at Zaha Hadid Architects and Hadid's closest collaborator, described her as a "monumental innovator".

Deborah Berke portrait
Deborah Berke: "Zaha was a genius. She was doing work that nobody else conceived of, never mind figured out how to build." Portrait by Architizer

Speaking on camera for the first time since her death of a heart attack on 31 March, aged 65, Schumacher said: "Zaha's historical significance I think, if anything, has been underestimated. She's been a monumental innovator, radically expanding the degrees of freedom one has as a composer in space."

He also shed light on Hadid's sometimes fiery temper.

Patrik Schumacher portrait by Dezeen
Patrik Schumacher: "Zaha's historical significance I think, if anything, has been underestimated. Shes been a monumental innovator, radically expanding the degrees of freedom one has as a composer in space." Portrait by Dezeen

"She also had a temper sometimes in work, but it came out of an intense will to excellence and a certain degree of insecurity whether what we had at that time was good enough, which kind of fuelled this drive to do more," he said.

Several of her close friends spoke of her warmth, energy and creativity.

Deyan Sudjic portrait by Dezeen
Deyan Sudjic: "What you hear about Zaha and what she was actually like are two very different things. She was very tender about the people that mattered to her." Portrait by Dezeen

"What you hear about Zaha and what she was actually like are two very different things," said Deyan Sudjic, director of the Design Museum in London. "She was very tender about the people that mattered to her."

Architect Eva Jiricna described her as being "so full of energy and so full of ideas", while Amanda Levete, who studied at the Architectural Association school in London at the same time as Hadid, said "The very essence of Zaha is that she was a real romantic, very sensitive but a warrior too, and that is how I like to remember her."

Amanda Levete portrait by Dezeen
Amanda Levete: "The very essence of Zaha is that she was a real romantic, very sensitive but a warrior too, and that is how I like to remember her."

Levete said that even in her student days, Hadid stood out as an outstanding talent.

"While I was at the AA there was this sense that this was somebody who was going to be a great architect," she said. "The AA was just this hotbed of radical thinking. And yet, she was the one who I think most successfully exported those ideas and developed it into a language that could then be understood."

Eva Jiricna portrait by Dezeen
Eva Jiricna: "She was so full of energy and so full of ideas." Portrait by Dezeen

Architect Bjarke Ingels, the most prominent of a younger generation of architects, said Hadid had transformed the possibilities of architecture.

"I started studying architecture in 1993 and of course I stumbled upon Zaha's paintings," Ingels said. "What she managed to do, which is so amazing, is to take this entire universe that seemed impossible and unbuildable and completely sort of change our understanding of what is fantasy and what is reality."

Bjarke Ingels portrait by Dezeen
Bjarke Ingels: "What she managed to do, which is so amazing, is to take this entire universe that seemed impossible and unbuildable and completely sort of change our understanding of what is fantasy and what is reality." Portrait by Architizer

The movie was the idea of Architizer co-founder and CEO Marc Kushner.

"Architizer was thrilled to come together with Dezeen to honour Zaha – one of the most influential designers of our time – just as the global architectural community came together to mourn her loss," he said.

Richard Rogers portrait by Dezeen
Richard Rogers: "She has certainly sculpted out a way through society and architecture which is unique, which is so great that I cannot... words are not sufficient." Portrait by Dezeen

"Zaha was a unique talent, one that is fundamentally irreplaceable, but she will continue to inspire through her work long into the future."

Julia Peyton Jones portrait by Dezeen
Julia Peyton Jones: "There are very few people in the world who are known by one name. You know that anywhere in the world you can talk about Zaha." Portrait by Dezeen

Zaha Hadid is widely considered the most influential contemporary female architect in the world, with projects including the MAXXI Museum in Rome, the London 2012 Aquatics Centre and the Heydar Aliyev Center in Azerbaijan.

Hans Ulrich Obrist portrait by Dezeen
Hans Ulrich Obrist: "When you are an artist or an architect you need immense courage. And Zaha had this immense courage. She radiated this immense courage that was infectious to many, many young people." Portrait by Architizer

She is the only woman to have received both the Pritkzer Prize – considered to be architecture's equivalent to the Nobel – and the Royal Institute of British Architects' Gold Medal in her own right.

Her London-based practice is set to continue work on her designs and develop new projects under the leadership of Schumacher.

Paul Goldberger portrait
Paul Goldberger: "Who knows what extraordinary things would have come out of that imagination if it had another one of two decades to keep producing things." Portrait by Architizer

Dezeen will be publishing longer versions of the video tributes over the coming days.