Built in the mid-12th to early 13th centuries AD during the reign of Jayavarman VII, it is in the Bayon architectural style, similar in plan to Ta Prohm and Preah Khan, but less complex and smaller. Its structures are contained within two successive enclosure walls, and consist of two concentric galleries from which emerge towers, preceded to the east by a cloister. This Buddhist monastic complex is currently dilapidated due to faulty construction and poor quality of sandstone used in its buildings,and is now undergoing renovation. Banteay Kdei had been occupied by monks at various intervals over the centuries until the 1960s.
The temple is built on the ground level use as a Buddhist monastery. The elements of the original design of Banteay Kdei seem to have been a Central Sanctuary, a surrounding gallery and a passageway connected to another gallery. A moat enclosed the original features of the temple. Another enclosure and two libraries were among the additions in the Bayon period. The outer enclosure (700 by 500 meters) is made of laterite and has four entry towers.
A rectangular courtyard to the east is known as 'the hall of the dancing girls', a name derived from the decoration which includes dancers The entry tower of the second enclosure is in the shape of a cross with three passages; the two on either end are connected to the literate wall of the enclosure 320 by 200 scrolls of figures and large female divinities in niches. In the interior court there is a frieze of Buddha.