The development of architecture is governed by an increasing gap between the experienced quality of architectural space, manifest as a sense of interiority on behalf of the user, and the means applied in its realization. Between means and ends, one could say, which calls for a continuous and critical development of architectural method. By method, I mean a systematic series of steps taken to acquire knowledge about an architectural problem. As the building industry and the actual construction of architecture is becoming ever more complex moving from craft over industrialization through to integration of digital technologies, the mentioned gap is becoming present in the processes and models of collaborations between the multiple parties involved in the realization of architecture, as well as in the work itself. This, as an increase of construction layers, installations and equipment tending to blur the primary spatial purpose of architecture as an enrichment of everyday life, if we are not careful. By referring to the task of the Greek tekton, as a masterbuilder, capable of bringing together aesthetics and technique in a given context, tectonic theory allows us to study this challenge from a methodological point of view. Hence, as a means to continuously discuss our task and develop our knowledge in relation to the ongoing evolution of architecture as a contextual discipline. It is the idea of this paper, that by linking, a delineation of the experienced quality of a work of architecture with a delineation of the means applied in its realization; the mutually dependent notions ‘gesture’ and ‘principle’ outline a potential for a contemporary repositioning, development, and application of tectonic theory as critical method in architecture. This potential is explored through a re-reading of the development of tectonic theory in architecture related to the present conditions and challenges facing the discipline.