The paper presents new studies of the architecture at Karfi (12th-11th centuries BC) which has significantly deteriorated since excavation in the 1930s. 1:50 plans of the best-preserved buildings, a new topographical plan of the whole site area, and an EDM plot of the main visible unexcavated remains, allow enhancement of previous commentary on social organization at the site and others of the period. It examines in detail and with the use of wide-ranging comparisons (including with sites of the preceding LM III and subsequent PG-A periods) the ways in which new social systems were materially constructed from soon after widespread settlement relocations in Crete c. 1200 BC. It highlights inter-site similarities suggesting regular, deep-rooted interaction between communities during or soon after this horizon of major social change while evaluating subtle differences probably related to differences in size and complexity between the new villages. For example, cooking facility distribution suggests a role for communal cooking, paralleled at other sites, which is here especially pronounced. This limitation on individuals' potential to achieve status through the hosting of exclusive secular feasts/gatherings may relate to particularly volatile factional competition in large settlements. Evidence recently cited in support of such a model for Karfi (the presence of several different large structures, some containing feasting evidence) is used to raise the question of whether all large secular buildings at this period must be seen as residences. The distinctive character of Karfi's eastern excavated zone (previously argued to relate to diachronic development or to ethnic origins/power balance at the sites) is here characterized in terms of its static rather than agglutinative planning, a feature possibly marking a unique social role for the area. The ‘Megarons’ block, located in this zone, is compared with similar buildings at contemporary sites, with the conclusion that Crete saw the emergence soon after 1200 BC of a fairly fixed template for public feasting buildings, drawing deliberately on features which had earlier possessed exotic/prestige associations. Though such buildings may have shared their social role with powerful families' residences, and direct emulation of their form may have been an important element in social competition, they represent a separate, standardized social institution at this period, complementing the new standardization of cult practice in settlement temples. We seem able identify consistently recognized social concepts spanning the Latest Bronze through Archaic periods in Crete, which were nonetheless transformed through their materialization in changing historical circumstances. The paper concludes by discussing future management and research potential at Karfi.