A window is an opening in the wall of a building that allows light and air to enter a room and people to see out. At previous times in history they were merely small oval or square holes in the walls. They are usually glass or a strong, transparent plastic. The word was first recorded in the early 13th century, and originally referred to an unglazed hole in a roof. Evidence of glass window panes in Italy dates back nearly 3000 years.
Various types of windows were invented that allowed light but not weather to pass into a building: mullioned glass windows, paper windows, and plates of thinly sliced marble. In England, glass became common in the windows of ordinary homes only in the early 17th century. Modern-style floor-to-ceiling windows became possible only after the industrial glass making process was perfected. Modern windows are customarily large rectangles or squares with glass surfaces. Churches traditionally have stained glass windows.
The Lou Henry and Herbert Hoover House, located on the campus of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, United States, is a large, rambling house, resembling "blocks piled up." It was designed by Lou Henry Hoover, wife of Herbert Hoover, 31st President of the United States. After several consultations the Hoovers convinced Arthur B. Clark, a Stanford art professor who practiced freelance architecture during the summer, to be their architect. Clark agreed on the condition that Mrs. Hoover design the house and that Clark would serve in an advisory capacity.
The problem of size was solved by the hillside site with the house disappearing into the slope of San Juan Hill and hence appearing much smaller. The irregularly shaped house was built on a reinforced concrete slab foundation and rises two stories in the front and three stories in the rear. Resembling early International style homes, Mrs. Hoover's designs were modeled after North African Algerian homes. Elements of Mission Revival Style architecture can also be found in its design.