An architect is someone who designs, implements and oversees the day to day progress of large(r) scale projects. You get to define who/what to buy and how to realize your vision. But no, you don't need access to the systems but you do need an overview of the entire infrastructure, you're an architect, not a builder/maintainer/owner, you get to see the site, you define future upgrades but you don't maintain the system(s), you surround yourself with others that do that job.
If you can't get a full picture of the network and systems without full admin access, your underlings are doing something wrong and it's time for you to kick them out or go on a major discovery/documentation project. If I were an architect, I'd make sure I have plans, diagrams and documentation on the entire picture first before embarking on a next project.