The word architecture goes back through Latin to the Greek for "master builder." The ancients not only invented the word, they gave it its clearest and most comprehensive definition. According to Vitruviusthe Roman writer, whose Ten Books on Architecture is the only surviving ancient architectural treatisearchitecture, is the union of "firmness, commodity, and delight"; it is, in other words, at once a structural, practical, and visual art. Without solidity, it is dangerous; without usefulness, it is merely large-scale sculpture; and without beauty . . . it is not more than utilitarian construction.
Marvin Tachtenberg and Isabelle Hyman, Architecture: From Prehistory to Post-Modernism/The Western Tradition (Prentice-Hall, 1986, p. 41)