DUBIO: The brick that makes you doubt

Simply ingenious and ingeniously simple

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Simply genius and genially simple news from brickland! Brick manufacturer Nelissen Brickworks and product designer Roel Vandebeek surprise the sector with a world premiere: Dubio. Dubio is one brick with shadow joints that brings forth the illusion of two or three thinly stacked bricks. This offers seemingly creative options, that were seen as impossible until recently, which translate not only into an economical return, but ecological as well.


The chapter of the brick is not even close to finishing, was the thought of Designer Roel Vandebeek of design agency ‘It’s a Roel’ from Maasmechelen. He took his concept of the shadow joints and introduced it to Nelissen Brickworks in Lanaken. The manufacturer immediately saw the potential of the idea, patented it and proposed to use its N70 brick as a base. Designer Roel Vandebeek added the shadow joints to the N70 brick which creates the illusion that a wall is built out of remarkably thin bricks.
In the meantime, the innovative brick has won several awards: in addition to the Henry Van de Velde Efficiency Award, DUBIO was also chosen as the winner of the Product Innovation Award at the Belgian Building Awards. In addition, DUBIO won in 2019 a German Design Award and an Architecture & Design Collection Award & BLT Built Design Award in 2023.

The brick that makes you doubt
As a product designer Vandebeek is in touch with architects on a regular basis meaning he has a good grasp not only of the trends, but also the necessities within the construction world. “Architects are very fond of glued brick facades plus the demand for an original linear pattern keeps increasing” according to Vandebeek. To fill in this need, the designer in cooperation with Nelissen offers a sustainable solution, the Dubio-brick. “The brick has the ability to make you doubt because of its shadow joints, these joints create the illusion that the façade is built up out of thin bricks. An innovative breakthrough!

DUBIO exists in 2 variants:

DUBIO with 1 shadow joint on the long side (asymmetrical shadow joint)


DUBIO with 2 shadow joints on the long side (double symmetric shadow joint)


Innovation and creativity
Dubio has the ability to form creations that were previously impossible with a conventional brick. “You get one brick, but it looks like two or three surprisingly thin bricks stacked on top of each other. They are so thin that you can’t produce them the traditional hand moulded way.” Says Joeri Gevers, managing director at Nelissen Bricks. According to him, the innovative concept offers limitless possibilities: ”vertical, horizontal or even wavy shadow joints, everything is possible. You can place this brick vertically, horizontally or even in irregular bond. Dubio offers the possibility for the architect to use his creativity in a completely new way.”

Sustainable ROI
The N70 brick will form the basis of the new Dubio Brick. This slim brick is three centimetres thinner than a standard brick which leaves extra space for wall insulation or plain liveable space. If Dubio is used in a construction project, then the total amount of required bricks is 30% less than when conventional bricks are used which in turn results in a 30% cost reduction logistically. This way, the brick manufacturer offers architects the possibility to combine aesthetics and sustainability.

Not only for the architects, but also for the bricklayer Dubio has some benefits in store. Since the new brick is higher than a conventional brick, it can also be layed twice as fast. The lining pattern of the brick continues from the stretch side over the header side so the bricklayer doesn’t need to cut the bricks in order to mitre the bricks.