This is an herb spiral, in which you plant drought hardy plants at the top and water-thirsty plants at the bottom. By adding wood, it mimics hugelkultur, in which buried wood adds nutrients and reserves water. -Grow Food Not Lawns
This design is crazy, I love all the natural light, and the wall of windows that appears to lead to a greenhouse. The stairs being right above the kitchen is very cool, that's something I have seen very few times.