Microtubules (MTs) and MT motor proteins form active 3D networks made of unstretchable cables with rod-like bending mechanics that provide cells with a dynamically changing structural scaffold. In this study, we report an antagonistic mechanical balance within the dynein-kinesin microtubular motor system. Dynein activity drives microtubular network inward compaction, while isolated activity of kinesins bundles and expands MTs into giant circular bands that deform the cell cortex into discoids. Furthermore, we show that dyneins recruit MTs to sites of cell adhesion increasing topographic contact guidance of cells, while kinesins antagonize it via retraction of MTs from sites of cell adhesion. Actin-to-microtubules translocation of septin-9 enhances kinesins-MTs interactions, outbalances activity of kinesins over dyneins and induces discoid architecture of cells. These orthogonal mechanisms of MT network reorganization highlight the existence of an intricate mechanical balance between motor activities of kinesins and dyneins that controls cell 3D architecture, mechanics, and cell-microenvironment interactions.