I never heard of an Architect that had his/her professional license revoked for building a lousy, let alone an ugly building. But you could have an civil engineer have his/her license revoked with a total collapse of a building or construction site especially if the disaster results with a fatality.
I have nothing against architects (I have friends that are already practicing architects and architecture students), but I think it is high time for them to be accountable if ever a historic building will be harmed in their watch.
Look at this, the early American Officials in the Philippines before 1905 highly advocated the demolition of the walls of Intramuros due to sanitary reasons and as wells as their obsolete state in the 20th century. American Planner Daniel Burnham had the walls untouched by Manila’s development later in his plans. He saw the walls as a good standpoint for the continuity of the American Imperial Ambitions from the Spanish Walled City in the Philippines (you see this at the location of the National Government Center at Luneta and other outlying areas of the walled city). It’s either architects really know the historic importance of a place or wanted a continuity from the architectural movement before introducing another.
In the usual construction project process, it all starts with the architectural design before going to the detail engineering designs (civil and structural, electromechanical works). The starting point is the architect, he has a big say (after the developers, of course) whether a site (if something is built on it) should be demolished or included in the new design. The architect always have that option to tell to the developers, I don’t know if they use that free will well.
The architect as the first person to have the power to alter the physical structure of a place always has the biggest responsibility on their city. At the design process most alterations can be done with a small price rather at the construction process already.
Having studied History of Architecture, the architects themselves know if a building is significant to the city or not. To destroy a place of a big historic significance is to destroy a city slowly.
Yes, faults in civil engineers may cost human lives. But faults in architects may cost cities…
No architects have had their licenses revoked for slowly killing cities. Maybe not yet.