Is Tall the New Trend?

These houses are located on different points of Whidbey Island, North of Seattle.  On the left is an addition to a ranch.  Is it a tower?  Is it for a view (is there a view?), or possibly maximizing the amount of square footage on a small lot?  Is the latter choice also applicable to the new construction on the right?  There are so many questions.  I truly do not understand tall houses on the oceanfront.

I don’t know if this is just a Whidbey Island phenomenon, but I do like the look of the slender homes.  I just don’t know how the population will respond to it since everyone seems to want to downsize to a ranch.

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