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".
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.
"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".
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.
"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.
"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."
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."
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."
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.
"Zaha was a unique talent, one that is fundamentally irreplaceable, but she will continue to inspire through her work long into the future."
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.
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.
Dezeen will be publishing longer versions of the video tributes over the coming days.