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Other Sets
Other key locations included the fence that surrounds Chicago located at US Steel; the site of The Choosing Ceremony at the Seventeenth Church of Christ Scientist; and the principal Erudite locations of the Mansueto Library and the Spertus Institute. Filming also took place at: Basic Cable and Wire, IIT Student Center, and Goose Lake Prairie.

"In the book, the fence is described as a much smaller structure, but we went for something on a grander scale," admits Nicholson. "We were inspired by a photograph of a large radar installation in Russia, which sparked a lot of conversation because it was so big that you didn't know what it was."

"James McAllister found a 40 foot tall, 15 foot wide concrete wall that runs about a quarter of a mile long located at an old steel factory. Neil thought it was the perfect base for our fence. On the first day filming there, we get out there in the middle of the field in front of the wall and next to us is the Lake Michigan, which is like a small ocean," remembers Kelly. "We're getting winds of 40 plus miles an hour. Things are just going everywhere. Carts are rolling. All the actors' hair is crazy. You're trying to make sure everybody safe. The lake has got 15 foot white caps rolling over the brick barrier. But we shot through this little mini hurricane. All done safely, but we didn't shoot on top of the wall that day because of the wind. It was probably one of the hardest days I've had. It wasn't pleasant. It was cold. Just misery, but all the actors were troopers."

The crucial Choosing Ceremony was shot at the Seventeenth Church of Christ Scientist, located in the center of Chicago on Wacker Drive. "The Hall of Choosing location stands out architecturally, a very '60s style church in the semi-round. This is a location that's never been filmed before," says Nicholson. "We loved the color inside the auditorium and the way that the chairs were arranged in five banks. We decided to take out the first two or three rows of seating and have a dais. It's a very interesting space because it's two-thirds of a circle and quite steeply banked. It's got a lot of limestone and marble in it."

Filmmakers utilized two primary locations for Erudite: The University of Chicago's Mansueto Library, and the Spertus Institute on Michigan Avenue, across from Grant Park. The Mansueto Library features a 35 feet high, 240 feet long, 120 feet wide elliptical glass dome, with 691 glass panels. The Grand Reading Room beneath it is 8000 square foot and holds 180 people. "The library stands out just because it's another architectural gem," states Nicholson. "Spertus is another notable architectural building and what's important about these two locations, plus the Choosing Ceremony location, was how the shapes work with each other. Shapes are a big part of the design of this film and the library has a domed glass ceiling. Spertus has very linear lines, but again clean."

The light-filled Spertus provided the location for Erudite Library and Tower where Tris meets Jeanine for a verbal square off. The building features a one of a kind, ten-story faceted window wall composed of 726 individual pieces of glass in 556 different shapes and sizes. Spertus opened 2007 and won numerous architectural awards for forward-looking design and use of materials.

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