An architect (and one that is trying to be forward thinking and implement all sorts of fascinating new gear) is wasting time learning the admin interface for every box he/she specifies.
And if an architect is having trouble getting away from daily ops, not having any access to the boxes at all will help with that transition. (Not to mention that the architect will inevitably get pulled into ops problems, leaving less time to do the actual job.)
Well, for his situation, I think he needs it. The scene he sets is that of someone new to the job, the currently architected system held together with bale wire and duct tape, and a staff that's resistant to change. In that kind of situation, it's not unreasonable to insist on sneak and peek access to everything. The alternative is having to work harder to get information you need, the risk of that information being incomplete or inaccurate, and the only recourse is to blame other people. That is not going to impress the folks offering the position, nor is it going to lead to a harmonious working relationship with the ops staff.