I've adduced on this blog more times than I care to count, and in the strongest possible terms, the ought-to-be-self-evident-but-strangely-isn't keystone idea that,
...genuine architecture is art first, and building second. No art, no architecture, which is to say that any building in whose design aesthetic considerations were not treated as primary is an example of mere building, and not architecture. And so for critical purposes a distinction must be made between mere building and architecture. "Bumping your head...the rising damp...whether you're going to have to put out buckets in the middle of the living room to catch the leaking rainwater" are all valid primary critical criteria in judging the worth of a mere building. They are in no way valid primary critical criteria in judging the worth of a work of architecture. As I've hammered home ad nauseam here and elsewhere, concern with aesthetics art is always and forever architecture's primary defining characteristic. It's that alone which separates architecture from mere building, and is alone architecture's and the architect's sine qua non, and very raison d'être..
[The above taken from this September 2004 post]
In a marvelous interview with the great architect Frank Gehry for The Wall Street Journal by novelist Akhil Sharma, there's this:
"I don't know why people hire architects and then tell them what to do," Mr. Gehry says. "Architects have to become parental. They have to learn to be parental." By this he means that an architect has to listen to his client but also remain firm about what the architect knows best, the aesthetics of a building. This, Mr. Gehry says, is what makes an architect relevant in the process that leads to a completed building. "I think a lot of my colleagues lose it, lose that relevance in the spirit of serving their client, so that no matter what, they are serving the client. Even if the building they produce, that they think serves the client, doesn't really serve the client because it's not very good."
Somehow the argument becomes infinitely more persuasive when adduced by Mr. Gehry no matter how elliptically stated.