Because I don’t want to have to relocate the fire sprinkler system pipes, the plan is to screw 2x3s to the joists above to drop the drywall ceiling below the level of the pipes. This will also reduce the hard contact area between the drywall and the structure above, which, combined with the insulation we’ll be stuffing in the joists, will result in very little sound transfer between floors.
There is also the matter of the beam and posts in the middle of the space. I don’t like the look of a basement that has a boxed-in beam with a post cover in the middle of a room. To me, this screams “basement.” But there’s little choice in that the beam is in such a place that there’s no way I can hide them inside a wall. I’ll have to box in the beam and frame a column for the posts.
Fortunately, on the main floor of the house, there are several square columns, half walls, and beam-like ceiling features. If I copy the design of those features, the boxed-in beam and posts can look like the features on the main floor, and less like I’m hiding obstructions. And by putting a half wall in between the column and the outside wall, separating the bar room and the billiard room, I’ll even further match the rest of the house. And then, if I were to further match the column with columns on the walls at either end of the beam, and a similar beam/soffit over the bar, I should be adding architectural interest instead of covering up problems.