Set on a side of almost 22,000m2, the National Library is located close to National Museum and overlooks Kuwait Bay. The building design includes two basements and four floors above ground. The two basement levels accommodate staff and guest parking spaces in addition to an archiving office, a security facilities room, civil defence shelter linked to its own electricity generator substation, and a mobile shelving system with an automatic book retrieval facility. The civil defence shelter is equipped with independent plumbing, water supply, power, HVAC, communications networks and escape routes.
The ground floor accommodates both public and service areas, arranged in a way that maximises access to the public spaces directly from the atrium. Adjacent to the main entrance, the café and gift shop open onto the atrium. Flanking the café is a corridor leading to a conference room, a multi-purpose meeting room and the Diwaniyah. Moving through the atrium, visitors will find the information and security desk in the centre, separating the main lobby from the atrium. Opposite this desk is the entrance to the 275-seat auditorium.