Talk about a true Renaissance man. Dr. Mel Kurtulus is a polo player, world traveler, photographer, musician and philanthropist—and those are just his hobbies. Kurtulus, who lives in a U-shaped glass and concrete Jonathan Segal stunner with sweeping views on Mt. Soledad, is a veritable rock star of robotic surgery. “I believe a man needs to be multifaceted,” says Kurtulus, who fancies slim-cut European suits by the likes of Giorgio Armani to flatter his tall, lean frame. For a touch of edginess, he turns to designer John Varvatos. “He’s rebellious and doesn’t follow the rules,” explains Kurtulus. The A-list surgeon—one of roughly two dozen experts in the United States who perform cutting-edge abdominal surgery from a console, controlling a tiny robot using hand and foot pedals—considers his work in the operating theater to be art. “Doing surgery is like being in the symphony,” says Kurtulus, who trains other surgeons at Scripps. “There’s never a missed note or skipped beat.” A serious animal lover, he hones his coordination on the polo field, riding his three ponies, Troy, Chaka and Daisy. At home, he enjoys hanging out with Bundles, his Yorkie—“the love of my life,” says Kurtulus. The son of an artist, he’s also an architecture aficionado; he tapped starchitect Segal, along with leading landscape architects Spurlock Poirier, for his home, which was two years in the making. Another meticulous detail? The perfect pool, still in the works, from renowned designer Skip Phillips. “Nothing but the best,” says Kurtulus, who spends a week each month exploring the globe, from Bali to Croatia, where he sails. “It was a dream team. It’s the same way I decorate myself. Everything is a reflection of you and your creativity, and how you package yourself.”

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