I have been thinking about this issue for a few months now and was reluctant to post a question in case it was premature! There must always be some niggling doubt whether any real estate adventure will materialise, as I know from experience. As some may know, I have made a 'partial' move to the lovely town of Ribeauville in France, which as planned, gave me the possibility to explore a number of different avenues for a slightly more permanent move in a house which would satisfy a large number of different criteria. There are so many of these that the requirement for a listening room was so far down the list it was on Page two or three!
In any case, it now looks as if I may be able to acquire a townhouse, which is however detached, over four floors, which is in need of such a complete restoration that I will be able to do pretty much what I like once I set this project in motion in say two years' time. Why ask the question now then?Well, in order to get the relevant 'compromis de vente' to change into a final sale, the buyer, that is myself, is awarded a certain degree of protection in that I can decide not to complete if my plans for restoration are not approved by the competent authorities in France. Since the house falls within the historical perimeter of the old town, the final decision needs to be taken by the rather grandly named 'Architecte des Batiments de France,' a process that legally can take at least 6 months in itself. So I need to engage the services of an architect (or 'maitre d'ouvrage') and formulate the proper plans which will form the basis for future negotiations with the planning authorities.
So here is the question. The ground floor, where I would locate the listening room, is approximately 9mx8.5m (maybe slightly bigger or smaller) considerably larger than the listening room I will be using for the next 3-4 years in my current house in France. I will pretty much only keep the centuries old 70cm-1m thick stone walls. The ceiling height, as it is presently, at 2.3m (less in some parts), is far too low, but that is not an issue as I will have the entire internal parts of the building demolished, as well as the roof raised. The real issue for me is how far should I go? I could collapse the first two levels in one which would give me a ceiling height of 4-4.8m but this may be a bit too extreme for the planning authorities as it may well mean raising the roof height by another 2-3m although it may well be acceptable.
I appreciate that one should avoid lengths which are multiples of each other but would like to know what people might think is a sensible minimum height to aim for, and whether the gains from going for a maximum height of say 5m are such that I should be prepared to fight or negotiate hard for it.
There is another consideration which weighs on all the above and I must mention it here although I have not given the idea enough thought to know where I will go with it. I would like to accomodate a single or a pair of 40-50Hz midbass horns in the initial design plans for this room. I am very tempted to use an idea similar to what Jessie Dazzle originally proposed in his project thread, that would be suspended from the ceiling firing diagonally towards the listening position. This of course would then have some serious implications in terms of desirable ceiling height. Any thoughts, reflections, advice or even criticisms would be greatly appreciated. If you solve the whole problem for me, please let me know where I can forward a lovely case of Cremant as recompense for your wisdom.
Well, I am in Italy where Chistmas is quite a big thing and it is time I go and join my hosts and family for our Chistmas Day dinner before causing considerable offence by my absence from the family gathering. Have a lovely end to this day wherever you might be!
First of all, season's greetings to all.