Fine architecture - that which is well designed, beautiful and at one with its environment - enhances our lives. It can be the source of great satisfaction and a sense of rightness or even transcendence. When we experience an uplifting building we feel at one with our surroundings, we expand. This is what we strive for: to make places that help us to be what we want (or ought?) to be.
Many architects aim for more such things, or at any rate more than mere functionality. Styles and approaches are practically limitless it seems. We enjoy modern architecture at its best, and value certain contemporary design strategies and abstractions. This said, we choose to pursue traditional and classical modes of expression for the following reasons:
1) Emulation is the motor of quality: when one works within a tradition decisions are informed by the accumulated lessons of precedent and previous generations. There is the advantage of standing on the shoulders of giants as it were.
2) Classical and vernacular traditions tend to encapsulate wisdom and judgement that transcends the personal, which gives them a timeless quality. At the same time they are open to so many different forms of interpretation and reinterpretation according to what works for a specific programme or location or climate.
3) It's what we are best at: tapping intense study of the classical tradition and antiquity allows us to conceive ideas and schemes without the need to refer to books or precedents, at least in the first instance. This helps us avoid too great a reliance on copying and to move forward more freely, with luck, to challenge the best of the past.