Facing Victoria Harbour, the 12-storey high building occupies a gross area of 9,400 square metres (101,000 sq ft) with a floor area of 33,800 square metres (364,000 sq ft). . The Library's collections amount to one fifth of the Hong Kong Public Libraries System; 2.3 million items out of the total 12.1 million items.
The arch-shaped doorway atop the front facade of the Hong Kong Central Library symbolises the Gate to Knowledge, while the triangle, square and circle which make up the arch all carry further meaning. The circle represents the sky, the square the land and the triangle the accretion of knowledge. When it was originally proposed, the design was controversial and received critiques from Urban Council members.