Lot many on page factors are taken into account for ranking purpose. A sound link architecture benefits not only in search engine optimization but in the site usage. When the visitors are easily able to find what they are looking for then the site has a good architectural back bone. Most often web designers are not able to understand the importance of pages hence this should be more of a teamwork along with the owner, content writer and the seo. .
I consider site architecture as the next important step after content creation has taken place. I normally create a three tier architecture keeping the most important pages in the root directory. The second tier pages would link to a topic specific directory and another set to pages would link to directory of related topic on site. Example wildlife and birding. This way effective silos are created which helps in ranking on SERPS.
The articles will come in the third tier linked to topic specific pages only. Hence birding articles would only be linked to birding specific pages and same manner for pages covering wildlife topic.
Your website architecture should place contents in hierarchy they are meant to be in. One need to surmise how the visitor would move through the contents. Visitors do not spend much time on the website if they have difficulty on reaching the right content. Hence the site should have relational pages which are well linked to main page this is not well defined in sites with door way pages. The relational pages should be linked with more content which is highly relevant through web page, pdf files or doc file etc.
Some highly relevant but deep linked pages could be crossed linked if you presume that after reading this page the visitor would like to refer a related page.